Assange: Doctors issue open letter to UK Home Secretary

More than 60 eminent medical doctors have issued an open letter calling for urgent action to protect the life of imprisoned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The doctors warn there may be serious consequences if Mr Assange is not moved from Belmarsh Prison. They are requesting he be transferred to a university teaching hospital where he can be assessed and treated by an expert medical team:

“Were such urgent assessment and treatment not to take place, we have real concerns, on the evidence currently available, that Mr Assange could die in prison. The medical situation is thereby urgent. There is no time to lose.”

Their letter is addressed to UK Home Secretary Priti Patel and has been copied to Shadow Home Secretary Dianne Abbott.

Dr Lissa Johnson PhD, Clinical Psychologist (Australia) said:

“Given the rapid decline of his health in Belmarsh Prison, Julian Assange must immediately be transferred to a university teaching hospital for appropriate and specialised medical care. If the UK Government fails to heed doctors’ advice by urgently arranging such a transfer on medical grounds, there is a very real possibility that Mr Assange may die.

“As it stands, serious questions surround not only the health impacts of Mr Assange’s detention conditions, but his medical fitness to stand trial and prepare his defence. Independent specialist medical assessment is therefore needed to determine whether Julian Assange is medically fit for any of his pending legal proceedings.

“Consistent with its commitment to human rights and rule of law, the UK Government must heed the urgent warning of medical professionals from around the world, and transfer Julian Assange to an appropriately specialised and expert hospital setting, before it’s too late.

“Due to the climate of intimidation and fear surrounding Julian Assange, a number of doctors have insisted on anonymity before examining Julian Assange over the years, fearful of negative consequences to their reputations and careers.

“The signatories to this open letter refuse to be silenced and are standing openly alongside the numerous medical and human rights authorities who have called, repeatedly and urgently, for the dangerous medical neglect of Julian Assange to end.”

Read the open letter.