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  • A supporter holding a photo of Julian Assange outside of the Belmarsh prison where he was recently confirmed to be in the medical ward.

    A supporter holding a photo of Julian Assange outside of the Belmarsh prison where he was recently confirmed to be in the medical ward. | Photo: Reuters

Published 29 May 2019
Opinion

Julian Assange has been transferred to the health ward of Belmarsh prison in the U.K. after "years of neglect." 

Wikileaks issued a statement about the "grave health concerns" they have over Julian Assange who is currently being held in Belmarsh prison in the United Kingdom and confirmed that he has been moved to the health ward. 

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According to the statement, Assange's health "had already significantly deteriorated after seven years in the Ecuadorean embassy" in London "under conditions that were incompatible with human rights."

The statement also called attention to pressure by the United States on the Ecuadorean government to deny Assange during his last year in the embassy any communication rights in a bid to have the asylum seeker "isolated and gagged."

An idea of the Wikileaks founder's health problems emerged when a Swedish court denied a request to delay an extradition hearing against him scheduled for June 3. Swedish defense lawyer Per Samuelson told Reuters he had visited Assange in British custody May 24 after which he had sought to have the hearing postponed.

“One of the reasons is that Assange’s health situation on Friday was such that it was not possible to conduct a normal conversation with him,” Samuelson said.

Belmarsh prison is a high-security prison located in Thamesmead southeast London and holds hardened murders, rapists and other violent offenders. 

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