In this file photo taken on May 19, 2017, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange gestures as he speaks on the balcony of the Embassy of Ecuador in London. (AFP)
- Assange spent seven years in Ecuador’s London embassy until 2019, after jumping bail in connection with sexual assault allegations in Sweden
NEW YORK: Julian Assange’s brother said Monday he feared the Wikileaks publisher would not survive the United States’ attempts to prosecute him after his fiancee revealed he had suffered a mini-stroke.
Gabriel Shipton was among about 30 people, including Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters and actress Susan Sarandon, to rally in support of Assange outside the British consulate in New York.
The protest came a day after Assange’s fiancee Stella Moris said Assange had suffered a mini-stroke in late October, on the first day of a US government appeal against a ruling blocking his removal.
The demonstrators were protesting against a decision on Friday by British appeals judges to overturn the ruling after accepting US government assurances Assange would receive appropriate treatment and not be held in punishing isolation in custody.
“Very worried about it,” Shipton told AFP. “This hanging over Julian’s head just increases the pressure on him now.
“So we live in fear that he won’t make it through this or that he will die basically, during this process,” he added.
The United States wants to put Assange on trial for WikiLeaks’ 2010 publication of thousands of top-secret military documents about the US wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Assange’s lawyers have previously raised concerns about the effects of his lengthy incarceration on his physical and mental health in a bid to halt the extradition.
Assange spent seven years in Ecuador’s London embassy until 2019, after jumping bail in connection with sexual assault allegations in Sweden.
He was then jailed for 50 weeks for breaching bail in that case, which was later dropped, but detained ever since on the grounds he was a flight risk.
Sarandon told Assange supporters that “no matter what you think of Julian Assange,” his case was about “journalism that just isn’t about entertainment.”
“(It) has to do with having an informed public because once this goes, we’re really dead,” she said.