The mother of WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange fears her son is in “immediate and critical danger” after spending nearly six years in limbo inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where his health has sharply deteriorated.
As fears for Assange’s health have grown, his mother Christine spoke about how her son is undergoing a “slow and cruel assassination” in an online vigil dubbed #ReconnectJulian on Saturday.
“The modern-day cage for political prisoners is no longer the Tower of London, it is the Ecuadorian Embassy,” she said, adding that her son has been detained for nearly eight years without charge, “cut off from all contact” and “tortured in the heart of London.”
“For the past six years the UK government has refused his request to access to basic health needs, fresh air, exercise, sunshine for Vitamin D, and access to proper medical and dental care. As a result, his health has seriously deteriorated,”she added.
LISTEN TO FULL AUDIO ADDRESS OF CHRISTINE ASSANGE:
Assange was granted refuge inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London back in 2012 while fighting extradition to Sweden regarding a sexual assault case. The UN human rights panel has called Assange’s embassy ordeal an arbitrary detention by the UK and Sweden.
The Australian native believes the Swedish probe, which has since been discontinued due to Assange’s unavailability for questioning, was only a pretext to extradite him to the US over troves of confidential documents released by WikiLeaks. Assange is unable to leave the confines of the embassy, as there is still an outstanding warrant for his arrest after he skipped bail to avoid extradition to Sweden.
While the US government has not confirmed whether it would pursue charges against Assange, the country’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions has previously labeled the WikiLeaks founder’s arrest as a “priority.”