Lauren Moye, FISM NEWS
WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange had a serious health episode while in a British High Court hearing earlier this year, according to his fiancée.
Stella Morris, the 38-year-old lawyer and long-term fiancée of Assange, revealed last week that the WikiLeaks publisher suffered what she calls a mini-stroke during an Oct. 27 video appearance for a court hearing. Medically referred to as a “transient ischaemic attack,” the interruption of blood flow to the brain allegedly caused Assange’s right eyelid to droop, memory problems, and signs of neurological damage.
Assange is reportedly on anti-stroke medicine and Morris explained he is “more or less recovered,” but the health concerns have become additional ammunition in the ongoing legal battle over Assange’s potential extradition to face U.S. legal charges.
“Julian is struggling and I fear this mini-stroke could be the precursor to a more major attack,” Morris said. “It compounds our fears about his ability to survive the longer this long legal battle goes on.”
She compared Assange’s time in prison to zoo animals before saying, “It cuts their life short. That’s what’s happening to Julian. The never-ending court cases are extremely stressful mentally.”
Assange has been accused of multiple violations of the U.S. espionage act and of illegally gathering military and diplomatic information.
He took refuge from the charges in London’s Ecuadorian Embassy from 2012-2019, at which point he was removed to Belmarsh Prison.
The British High Court ruled in January of this year that Assange would not be extradited to the U.S. over mental health concerns regarding a potential suicide. However, that decision was overruled this month after the U.S. made several assurances regarding how criminal proceedings would be handled and promised to provide Assange with clinical and psychological treatment while in American custody.
Morris referred to the legal hearings as a “constant chess game” that placed additional stress on Assange. She described Assange’s health breakdown during one of these High Court hearings as “horrendous.”
She said, “He had to sit through all this when he should have been excused. He was in a truly terrible state. His eyes were out of synch, his right eyelid would not close, his memory was blurry.”
Assange has until Dec. 23 to appeal the latest High Court ruling.