Julian Assange’s ‘Psychological Torture is unabated’, investigative journalist John Pilger said shortly after speaking to the Wikileaks founder. There are concerns for his health after being incarcerated in a high-security prison with few rights, as he faces extradition to the U.S. for exposing the wrongdoings of the United States government.
Assange to Face Full US Extradition Hearing in February 2020
“I spoke to Julian #Assange at the weekend. His psychological torture is unabated. He remains isolated in his small cell, mostly 23 hours a day, denied proper exercise. He has lost more weight. Although 'approved', phone calls to his parents are still not possible. Britain 2019.” said Pilger in a post on Twitter.
Worries over Assange’s health came after his mother Christine Assange raised concerns about his treatment at the hands of U.K. authorities. She recently said, “My son Julian Assange is being slowly, cruelly & unlawfully assassinated by the US/UK Govts, for multi-award winning journalism revealing war crimes & corruption!”
Campaigners for Assange’s freedom are not the only ones with serious concerns about the way Assange has been treated. In May, U.N. rapporteur Nils Melzer visited Assange in prison and said, “Physically there were ailments but that side of things are being addressed by the prison health service and there was nothing urgent or dangerous in that way. What was worrying was the psychological side and his constant anxiety.”
Following the prison visit, Nils Melzer also condemned how the authorities have treated him generally, saying, “In the course of the past nine years, Mr Assange has been exposed to persistent, progressively severe abuse ranging from systematic judicial persecution and arbitrary confinement in the Ecuadorian embassy, to his oppressive isolation, harassment and surveillance inside the embassy, and from deliberate collective ridicule, insults and humiliation, to open instigation of violence and even repeated calls for his assassination,”
Assange is being held in Belmarsh Prison, which is where terror suspects are sent. Ostensibly, he is serving a sentence for skipping bail in the U.K. However, campaigners say that extradition to the U.S. is imminent, and that there, he will spend the rest of his life in prison on ‘espionage’ charges, due to his role in exposing war crimes of the U.S. military.
Regular protests continue outside Belmarsh Prison, demanding his release.