Julian Assange’s doctors warn of his poor health

Julian Assange’s doctors warn of his poor health

Julian Assange’s doctors have said that his health is at risk due to his six-year confinement in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Sondra S Crosby, Brock Chisholm and Sean Love, writing on The Guardian’s website, said that they spent 20 hours over three days assessing Mr Assange’s condition.

Without giving any particular details, they said that his confinement has had an impact on his physical and mental health.

WikiLeaks founder Mr Assange has not stepped out of the Knightsbridge, west London, embassy since August 2012, when he was granted asylum by Ecuador.

He had breached his bail conditions amid sex-related allegations in Sweden for which he was due to be extradited.

Sweden dropped the investigation in May 2017 and applied to revoke the European arrest warrant.

However, he may still be arrested by UK police if he steps outside of the embassy for breaking his bail conditions in 2012.

"As clinicians, it is our ethical duty to advocate for the health and human rights of all people as promised under international law," wrote the doctors.

"Experience tells us that the prolonged uncertainty of indefinite detention inflicts profound psychological and physical trauma above and beyond the expected stressors of incarceration.

"These can include severe anxiety, pathological levels of stress, dissociation, depression, suicidal thoughts, post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain, among others.

"It is unconscionable that Mr Assange is in the position of having to decide between avoiding arrest and potentially suffering the health consequences, including death, if a life-threatening crisis such as a heart attack were to occur.

"Further, our assessment reveals that he has had no access to sunlight, appropriate ventilation or outside space for over five and a half years."

The doctors called for the British Medical Association (BMA) and other UK doctors to lobby the Government to provide healthcare for Mr Assange.

However, they also noted that most doctors are unwilling to go into the embassy to treat him.

- PA

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