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  • Human rights defenders supporting Julian Assange demonstrate outside of Westminster Magistrates Court in London, U.K., Oct. 21, 2019.

    Human rights defenders supporting Julian Assange demonstrate outside of Westminster Magistrates Court in London, U.K., Oct. 21, 2019. | Photo: Reuters

Published 22 October 2019

Julian Assange showed fragile health conditions during his appearance at the Westminster Court.

The WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Monday appeared before the Westminster Court of Magistrates in London, where Judge Vanessa Baraitser denied his defense request to postpone the start of his extradition trial to the United States for three months.

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Assange Suffering “Psychological Torture” In UK Prison

Although the 48-year-old Australian journalist has already served a 50-week jail sentence for breaking his probation conditions in 2012, he remains imprisoned in the Belmarsh Prison in London.

On Oct 11, a British court decided to keep him there because he "could escape" if he is allowed to leave the cell.

Previously, the then Home Secretary Sajid Javid revealed on June 13 he had signed an order to allow Assange to be handed over to the U.S., where he could face up to 170 years in prison.

Among other things, the U.S. Justice accuses the WikiLeaks founder of publishing secret documents and conspiracy to infiltrate government computer systems.

During the Westminster hearing, Assange evidenced fragile physical and psychological conditions as he had some difficulty confirming his identity and birth date.

In addition to this, he showed some trouble speaking because he hesitated, paused and stuttered. Moreover, the Australian activist admitted that he could not "think properly."

“I can’t think properly. I don’t understand how this is equitable. This superpower had 10 years to prepare for this case and I can’t access my writings. It’s very difficult where I am to do anything but these people have unlimited resources,” Assange said.

His lawyer Mark Summers, who recalled that his client's case has obvious political biases, denounced that the U.S. government interfered private conversations between Assange and his lawyers at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he was isolated for almost seven years.

At the hearing, former London Mayor Ken Livingstone and filmmaker John Pilger showed to express their solidarity with Assange.

On May WikiLeaks expressed his "grave concern" about the health status of the Australian journalist after he was transferred to the medical unit of the prison.

Judge Baraitser convened for Dec. 19 the following administrative hearing prior to the Assange extradition trial, which is set for Feb. 25, 2020.

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