JULIAN ASSANGE FOUND UNRESPONSIVE IN BELMARSH PRISON
A lawyer for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told a U.K. court Thursday that he was too ill to appear via video link at an extradition hearing about possible transfer to the United States.
Lawyer Gareth Peirce told Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London that Assange was “not very well.” The United States is pursuing a range of criminal charges against Assange, including a violation of the Espionage Act.
WikiLeaks said in a statement that it has “grave concerns” about the state of Assange’s health.
“Mr Assange’s health had already significantly deteriorated after seven years inside the Ecuadorian embassy, under conditions that are incompatible with basic human rights,” the group said.
“During the seven weeks in Belmarsh [prison] his health has continued to deteriorate and he has dramatically lost weight,” the statement reads. “The decision of prison authorities to move him to the health ward speaks for itself.” The group quotes a defense lawyer saying that “it was not possible to conduct a normal conversation with him” on May 24.