18:43 GMT15 July 2020
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    Joining the chorus of those calling for the WikiLeaks founder’s freedom of movement is the US president’s half-brother.

    Malik Obama, the half-brother of US President Barack Obama, has made headlines recently for his support of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. Now he’s causing headaches for his brother in a new way.

    Assange has been residing in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012, in an attempt to avoid being extradited to Sweden, where he was accused of rape soon after WikiLeaks began to release documents in its possession. It is widely assumed that Sweden would subsequently deliver Assange to the US, where he would be tried on espionage charges.

    Earlier this month, the transparency organization began releasing emails from John Podesta, the campaign chair of Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton. The emails have revealed a number of inconvenient truths for the Clinton campaign, including potential conflicts of interest during her time as Secretary of State.

    Last week, Ecuador severed Assange’s internet connection, a move many speculated to be the result of US pressure.

    Malik Obama is not the only prominent voice calling for Assange to be allowed freedom of movement. In February, the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD), ruled that Assange's de facto incarceration was arbitrary. The whistleblower lodged an appeal with a Swedish court on August 9, calling on the country to comply with the UN ruling.

    Last month, WikiLeaks released three reports on Assange’s health, including a psychosocial and medical assessment, as well as a physician’s and a dentist’s report. According to WikiLeaks, Assange has been living in "severely restrictive conditions of confinement within the small premises of the Embassy."

    "Mr Assange’s mental health is highly likely to deteriorate over time if he remains in his current situation. Such highly stressful circumstances, with no end in sight, can lead to unpredictable and sometimes very destructive consequences for individuals," the assessment said.

    "He lives in a state of chronic health insecurity."

    Despite multiple pleas, the Obama Administration has given no indication that it would not pursue charges against Assange, if he were to leave the embassy.


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