Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, looking extremely frail, was filmed leaving London's Westminster Magistrates’ Court in a police van during his brief hearing on Monday. The 48-year-old whistleblower currently imprisoned in Belmarsh is slapped with 18 charges in the United States including the Espionage Act, for conspiring to gain access into US military secrets between January and May 2010.
On Monday, Julian Assange left the London Court after a short 12-minute hearing in a police van where he was caught on camera, looking ailing and pale. In footage acquired by RT captured the overwhelming voices of supporters who asked the whistleblower to "Stay strong" and comforted him by saying, "Remember we here for you. You will be free. We won't let them do this to you, because your freedom is our freedom." White-haired Julian Assange just nodded in acknowledgment, without uttering a word.
His lawyers have complained that the prison officials have restricted them from spending adequate time with the whistleblower ahead of the crucial extradition hearing. Assange was arrested in London's Ecuadorian embassy in April after he sought asylum between the four walls for seven years. The whistleblower has maintained that the US charges against him were a political attempt to choke the voices of journalists and publishers. Extradition proceedings are expected to start in February 2020.
As per reports, Julian Assange spoke only to confirm his primary details like his name, date of birth. Often oscillating between the titles of a journalist, publisher, data warrior, and a spy, Assange claimed global notability for divulging war crimes of the US during the nation's 'war against terror.' However, if indicted the whistleblower could face up to 175 years in prison. Earlier, Julian Assange's father had claimed that the WikiLeaks founder is "subjected to every sort of torment," despite condemnation from the United Nations. 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.
Wikileaks, an anti-secrecy organisation, was founded in 2006 as a platform for whistleblowers to release classified information anonymously. By 2015, Wikileaks became a portal to publish 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. In 2010, as per published files of WikiLeaks, Congress' Rahul Gandhi told the then US Ambassador at lunch that Hindu extremists groups post a greater threat to his country than the Muslim terrorists.