Whistleblower Julian Assange's father said that the WikiLeaks founder is being "subjected to every sort of torment" at UK's Belmarsh prison amid concerns of his US extradition for leaking secret government documents. Under the espionage charges laid down by the United States, Assange could face a prison sentence up to 175 years, as he faces jail-time in UK's infamous prison ahead of his extradition fearing in February 2020.
Julian Assange's father John Shipton stated that the Noble Prize nominee is facing mental and physical harassment, despite calls of his release from the United Nations, citing "psychological torture". After meeting Assange in August, his father said that the whistleblower was a bit shaky, is suffering from anxiety and has lost a lot of weight. He said, "It is very distressing, and the intensity of his treatment has increased over the past year. He is being subjected to every sort of torment."
Assange is facing 18 charges in the United States and was arrested in April and dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London after living under political asylum for 7 years.
According to WikiLeaks, the award-winning journalist is put under solitary confinement within healthcare, wherein he spends 21 to 23 hours of the day in his cell and with "controlled moves." As per reports, every time Assange is moved from his cell, the corridors are cleared and the prison goes under lockdown during the time of his movement.
During Julian Assange's meeting with his father, Shipton revealed that laser microphones, video cameras were installed even in the toilet to monitor conversations, an international report said. He said, "We could not say anything without it being recorded, and it looks like they wanted to sell it to the CIA - in fact, they were actually selling Julian."
On September 13, a judge ruled that WikiLeaks co-founder would remain in jail despite the end of his prison time over his "history of absconding." On May 30, the whistleblower was moved to a healthward in the Belmarsh prison, over which WikiLeaks had released a statement expressing their "grave concerns" over the state of his health.
"Mr. Assange's health had already significantly deteriorated after seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy, under conditions that were incompatible with basic human rights," WikiLeaks said. "During the seven weeks in Belmarsh his health has continued to deteriorate and he has dramatically lost weight. The decision of prison authorities to move him to the health ward speaks for itself," the statement added.
Julian Assange has been nominated for the 2019 Noble peace prize.
An anti-secrecy organisation, Wikileaks was founded in 2006 as a platform for whistleblowers to release classified information anonymously. By 2015, Wikileaks published over 10 million documents, including top-secret documents
Ever since its launch in 2006, Wikileaks has published thousands of classified documents, disclosing the details from national security, war, politics to the film industry.
The documents include intercepter pager messages that were sent during 9/11 terror attack from FBI, NYPD, Pentagon and FEMA, thousands of Democratic National Committee emails during the 2016 US presidential campaign, Iran war logs, Afghan war details of US military unrecorded activities against civilians as well as confidential cables sent among diplomats and even released documents from movie studio Sony Pictures revealing the pay-gap between male and female stars.
In 2010, WikiLeaks published sensational classified thousands of documents on the US military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The organisation published a video from a US military helicopter that killed civilians in Iraq's Baghdad. A voice of US soldiers saying, "light them all up" could be heard as the troops opened fire on the civilians. Two Reuters journalists were also killed in that attack. Former US Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning provided data to WikiLeaks pertaining to the Afghan war, wherein civilians were killed by US troops.
While investigators linked those revelations as an effort by US President Donald Trump's campaign to damage US Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign, however, Special Counsel Robert Mueller investigating Russian collusion in the campaign did not file charges against Assange.