Monday, July 4, 2022

WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Suffers Stroke In Jail After Court Rules He Can Be Extradited To America

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has reportedly suffered a stroke in jail.

The 50-year-old is being held at the high security Belmarsh Prison as he battles to avoid being extradited to America following a court ruling.

Assange has reportedly been left with a drooping right eyelid, memory problems and signs of neurological damage following a mini-stroke.

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It’s reported the stroke happened at the time of a High Court appearance via video link in October.

His fiancee Stella Moris said he is “struggling” with the stress of fighting extradition to a US prison.

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Since the mini-stroke, Assange reportedly has had an MRI scan and is taking anti-stroke medication.

Ms Moris told the Mail: “Julian is struggling and I fear this mini-stroke could be the precursor to a more major attack. It compounds our fears about his ability to survive the longer this long legal battle goes on.

“It urgently needs to be resolved. Look at animals trapped in cages in a zoo. It cuts their life short. That’s what’s happening to Julian. The never-ending court cases are extremely stressful mentally.”

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It comes after it was revealed Assange can be extradited to America to face espionage charges after the US Government won its bid to overturn a High Court ruling.

His lawyers have previously argued that he is a high suicide risk and is too ill to be sent to America for a trial.

US authorities brought a High Court challenge against a January ruling by then-district judge Vanessa Baraitser that Assange should not be sent to the US, in which she cited a real and “oppressive” risk of suicide.

Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett, sitting with Lord Justice Holroyde, on Friday ruled in favour of the US after a two-day hearing in October.

But the US has given assurances Assange will not be held in a notorious “supermax” jail.

Lord Burnett said: “That risk is in our judgment excluded by the assurances which are offered.

“It follows that we are satisfied that, if the assurances had been before the judge, she would have answered the relevant question differently.

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“That conclusion is sufficient to determine this appeal in the USA’s favour.”

It is expected that Assange will attempt to bring an appeal over this latest decision.

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The High Court was previously told that blocking Assange’s removal due to his mental health risks “rewarding fugitives for their flight”.

Assange has been held at HMP Belmarsh since 2019 after hiding out in the Embassy of Ecuador in London for seven years.

He was carried out of the embassy by police before being arrested for breaching his bail conditions.

WikiLeaks rose to prominence in 2010 as it published a series of leaks provided by a US Army intelligence analyst named Chelsea Manning.

The information included the Baghdad airstrike Collateral Murder video, the Afghanistan war logs, the Iraq war logs, and Cablegate.

He was granted asylum by Ecuador due to fears of political persecution and extradition to the United States.

Assange remained in the Embassy of Ecuador in London for approximately seven years.

He had entered the building in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden to face sex offence allegations, which he has always denied and were eventually dropped.

Assange was granted Ecuadorian citizenship in 2018 but the asylum was withdrawn following a series of disputes with the Ecuadorian authorities in 2019.

Photo Credit: Getty

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