Doctors: Assange's Health in 'Dangerous' Condition

Years holed up in an embassy have taken their toll
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 25, 2018 3:49 AM CST
Doctors: Assange's Health in 'Dangerous' Condition
Julian Assange greets supporters outside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on May 19, 2017.   (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

The years that Julian Assange has spent holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London have taken a "considerable" toll on his physical and mental health, doctors warn. Two physicians who examined Assange for a total of 20 hours in October tell the Guardian that the WikiLeaks founder, who has been in the embassy since June 2012 and faces arrest for breaching bail conditions if he leaves, is in poor shape and is continuing to deteriorate. "While the results of the evaluation are protected by doctor-patient confidentiality, it is our professional opinion that his continued confinement is dangerous physically and mentally to him and a clear infringement of his human right to health care," the doctors say.

"Our assessment reveals that he has had no access to sunlight, appropriate ventilation, or outside space for over five and a half years," says one of the doctors, Boston University's Sondra Crosby. "This has taken a considerable physical as well as psychological toll." The doctors are calling for Assange to be granted safe passage to a London hospital. The Australian-born Assange was recently granted Ecuadorian citizenship, though Britain has refused to recognize him as a diplomat. The AP reports that Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno said Sunday that the country is still working to get him out of the embassy. He also complained that Assange has become "more than a nuisance" by interfering in the affairs of other countries. (Read more Julian Assange stories.)

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