Over 300 doctors from around the world have today written to the Deputy Prime Minister of Australia, Barnaby Joyce, imploring him to seek Julian Assange’s immediate release from prison in the UK on medical grounds. Link to letter
The letter begins by commending Joyce for his recent statements calling for the US extradition request against Julian Assange to be dropped. It continues:
“We are concerned that Mr. Assange’s apparent mini-stroke [reported in the Daily Mail on 11 December] may be the tip of a medical iceberg. Indeed his symptoms suggest as much. It is therefore imperative that Mr. Assange be released from prison, where his health will otherwise continue to deteriorate and where his complex medical needs cannot be met.” Continued incarceration, the doctors warn, will place Julian Assange’s life at risk.
In appendices to the letter, the doctors have released all former correspondence with the Australian Government – including previously unpublished material – in which they warned of cardiovascular pathologies, such as that reported in the Daily Mail.
They write, “perhaps our concerns were previously dismissed by your colleagues as hyperbolic. They are not. On the issue of cardiovascular pathology, we have been proven right. We do not wish to be proven right on the issue of Mr. Assange’s survival.”
The authors note that they had previously cautioned the Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Marise Payne, “should Mr. Assange die in a British prison, people will want to know what you, Minister, did to prevent his death.”
In their letter, the doctors reject US assurances, accepted by the High Court, that prison conditions in the US would be humane. They note that the US “retains the power to impose Special Administrative Measures on Mr. Assange and to assign him to ADX Florence, two of the harshest, most brutal prison conditions in the US. Both facilities violate the Convention Against Torture, to which Australia is a party.”
They conclude, “We implore you, as Deputy Prime Minister, to intervene with the UK Government to seek Mr. Assange’s immediate release on urgent medical grounds. We reiterate that he is an Australian citizen innocent in the eyes of the law, and guilty of and charged with nothing in the UK.”