Julian Assange’s long stay in the Ecuadorian embassy in London is having a “dangerous” impact on his physical and mental health, according to clinicians who carried out the most recent assessments of him.
The pair renewed calls for the WikiLeaks publisher to be granted safe passage to a London hospital.
Sondra Crosby, a doctor and associate professor at the Boston University’s school of medicine and public health, and Brock Chisholm, a London-based consultant clinical psychologist, examined Assange for 20 hours over three days in October.
In an article for the Guardian, they wrote: “While the results of the evaluation are protected by doctor-patient confidentiality, it is our professional opinion that his continued confinement is dangerous physically and mentally to him and a clear infringement of his human right to healthcare.”
Although the two did not go into details, Assange’s health appears to be deteriorating significantly after more than five years holed up in the embassy.
Crosby, who has done extensive work on human rights and refugees, and Chisholm, who specialises in trauma cases, wrote in the article: “It is unconscionable that Mr Assange is in the position of having to decide between avoiding arrest and potentially suffering the health consequences, including death, and the need to call an ambulance if a life-threatening crisis such as a heart attack were to occur.
“Further, our assessment reveals that he has had no access to sunlight, appropriate ventilation or outside space for over five and a half years. This has taken a considerable physical as well as psychological toll.”
They urged the British Medical Association and colleagues in the UK to demand safe access to medical care for Assange.
Medical conditions are a matter of privacy but a representative of Assange said he had approved Crosby, Chisholm and Love writing the article.
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