Julian Assange Suffered Stroke During October Court Appearance, Fiancee Reveals
01:31 GMT 12.12.2021 (Updated: 04:16 GMT 12.12.2021)
The WikiLeaks founder has been held behind bars since he was pulled from the Ecuadorian Embassy in late 2019 after having his political asylum status revoked. He had previously remained within the confines of the embassy in London since 2012.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange suffered a "mini" stroke during an October court hearing in the UK, his fiancee Stella Moris has revealed.
Citing Assange's fiancee, the Daily Mail Online reported
on Saturday that the incident took place during a video court appearance from Belmarsh Prison on October 27th. Following the episode, it was reportedly determined that the WikiLeaks publisher was left with a "drooping right eyelid, memory problems and signs of neurological damage".
A mini stroke, medically known as a transient ischemic attack, is caused by a brief blood flow interruption to the brain, spinal cord or retina, according to the Mayo Clinic. While the condition may not cause permanent disabilities, the occurrence does suggest that a more serious episode could be looming.
WikiLeaks issued a statement via Twitter that doctors had confirmed Assange's stroke on the morning of his latest hearing.
It is believed that Assange's stroke was brought on by the prison conditions that he has been subjected to since his 2019 detainment, after Ecuador revoked his political asylum status.
Moris has indicated that Assange has "more or less" recovered after having an MRI scan and being placed on anti-stroke medications.
"Julian is struggling and I fear this mini-stroke could be the precursor to a more major attack", she stated. "It compounds our fears about his ability to survive the longer this long legal battle goes on".
"It urgently needs to be resolved. Look at animals trapped in cages in a zoo. It cuts their life short. That's what's happening to Julian. The never-ending court cases are extremely stressful mentally".
Moris recalled that while Assange had been excused by the judge from the court appearance, he was not permitted to leave the prison video room.
"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", she detailed.
Assange's fiancee asserted that Assange was growing increasingly distressed with having to spend another holiday season apart from his family. Assange and Moris have two sons, aged four and two.
Earlier this year, over 60 doctors weighed in on Assange's health, warning in an open letter that his condition has become so dire that he could die behind bars at the Belmarsh facility. The letter was based on eyewitness accounts of his health and his October 21st court appearance.
11 December 2021, 17:00 GMT
"There is no time to lose", the letter stated. The physicians who signed the letter hailed from the US, Australia, the UK, Sweden, Poland, Germany, Italy, and Sri Lanka.
The latest revelation comes days after the US won its appeal to have Assange extradited stateside to face espionage charges over WikiLeaks' publication of thousands of military and diplomatic files, including those that exposed US war crimes committed in Iraq. If convicted in the US, Assange would spend the remainder of his life in prison.