WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been moved out of the solitary confinement and his health has shown improvement since then, said the whistleblower’s spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson. Speaking in a news conference, Hrafnsson said that acknowledged the pressure from his legal team, public, and other inmates to get him out of isolation.
Assange, who is kept in a maximum-security prison in southeast London, is fighting an extradition request from the United States on the charges of violating the Espionage Act and conspiring to hack into classified government documents. Assange’s full extradition hearing to the United States is set to begin from the next week.
During an interview to BBC, the whistleblower’s father John Shipton had said that the Assange's long solitary confinement damaged his health. He said that the ceaseless anxiety that Julian's been under for now 10 years has had a profoundly deleterious effect.
In January, Assange’s lawyer had lamented that his client was not getting enough time with the legal team to discuss the case regarding extradition case. Assange’s lawyer Gareth Peirce reportedly told a British court that the difficulty in getting time with the whistleblower is causing delays in the case.
Earlier in June 2019, Julian Assange, serving 50-weeks imprisonment, appeared before the court through a video link. Earlier, he was charged on a single count of computer intrusion but later 17 counts were added including charges of espionage for encouraging, receiving and publishing national defence information in cahoots with former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.
Assange appeared before the court on January 13 but remained silent during the hearing except stating his name and date of birth to the judge. He also acknowledged his supporters, present in the public gallery, who have been demanding freedom for Assange and holding protests to not let the UK extradite the 48-year-old Australian to the US. The whistleblower spent seven years in Ecuador’s embassy to avoid arrest but was dragged out by the police in April last year.
(With agency inputs)