Julian Assange moved to medical wing in prison due to 'significantly deteriorated' health

Wikileaks claims founder has 'dramatically lost weight' over a number of weeks

Jon Sharman
Thursday 30 May 2019 09:23
Related video: Assange prison visit 'very difficult', says Pamela Anderson
Related video: Assange prison visit 'very difficult', says Pamela Anderson

Julian Assange has been moved to a medical care area in Belmarsh prison following “dramatic” weight loss, Wikileaks has claimed.

Following his arrest at Ecuador’s embassy Assange’s “health has continued to deteriorate and he has dramatically lost weight” in prison, the group said.

The 47-year-old was jailed for 50 weeks for breaching his bail conditions earlier this month.

He had “already significantly deteriorated after seven years” inside the embassy, it added in a statement posted to Twitter.

The Independent has contacted the Ministry of Justice for comment.

Assange was due to appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court by video link on Thursday for an extradition hearing.

He is fighting a US request that he be shipped over to face allegations he conspired to break into a classified Pentagon computer.

The Australian’s second extradition hearing is not expected to be a full hearing on the matter.

After Assange was charged by American officials, journalists and academics warned that their approach risked criminalising traditional reporting practices.

Assange formally refused to consent to being extradited during a hearing which lasted a little over 10 minutes on 2 May.

Meanwhile, an investigation into rape allegations against him, which he denies, has been reopened by Swedish prosecutors who have requested Uppsala District Court detains him in his absence.

Eva-Marie Persson, the deputy director of public prosecution, said that if the court acceded to the request, she would “issue a European Arrest Warrant concerning surrender to Sweden“.

“In the event of a conflict between a European Arrest Warrant and a request for extradition from the US, UK authorities will decide on the order of priority,” she added.

Assange sought political asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in 2012 to avoid sex offences charges in Sweden.

It came after the leaks of hundreds of thousands of classified US diplomatic cables on his whistleblowing website.

Additional reporting by PA

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