Assange Is Reportedly Gravely Ill, and Hardly Anyone’s Talking About It

Caitlin Johnstone finds this jarring revelation reported by only a few outlets, often in an offhand manner.

By Caitlin Johnstone

Julian Assange’s Swedish lawyer Per Samuelson has told the press that “Assange’s health situation on Friday was such that it was not possible to conduct a normal conversation with him.”

This jarring revelation has been reported by a small handful of outlets, but only as an aside in relation to Sweden refusing Samuelson’s request for a postponement of a scheduled hearing regarding Assange’s detention en absentia for a preliminary investigation of rape allegations.

The fact that the imprisoned WikiLeaks founder is so ill that he can’t converse lucidly is itself far more significant than the postponement refusal, yet headlines mentioning Samuelson’s statement focus on the Swedish case, de-emphasizing the startling news from his lawyer.

As of this writing I’ve been able to find very few news outlets reporting on this at all, the most mainstream being a Reuters article with the very tame headline “Swedish court rejects delay of Assange hearing over ill-health: lawyer.” The Sydney Morning Herald also covered the story without even mentioning illness in its headline, instead going with Swedish court rejects effort to delay Assange hearing.” The much smaller alternative media outlet World Socialist Website has been the only outlet I’ve found so far reporting on Samuelson’s statement in anything resembling its proper scale, publishing a good article on May 29 titled Despite Assange’s ill-health, Swedish court rejects delay to hearing.”

News Lag

This news has been so under-discussed and under-appreciated as of this writing that I didn’t find out about it until hours after the story broke, and I’m very plugged in to both alternative media commentary and WikiLeaks-related news. A report that Julian Assange was so sick he could barely speak all the way back on Friday and we still have no news about how he’s doing now should be hugely significant for everyone who cares about Assange, press freedom, government transparency or peace activism.

Another part of this story that has gone completely uncovered in all English-language media as of this writing is the news that Assange has been transferred to the hospital wing of Belmarsh prison. This was reported by the Swedish outlet Upsala Nya Tidning, a newspaper published in the same district court in which Assange is scheduled to call in for his hearing. The report was also based on a statement to the press by Per Samuelson.

The article reports the following, per machine translation:

“Wikileaks founder Julian Assange’s Swedish lawyer wants the arrest hearing on Monday in Uppsala to be postponed. According to the lawyer, who has now visited his client in British prison, Assange is admitted to the medical department and was unable to make a call.

“Last Friday, Assange’s Swedish defender, lawyer Per E Samuelson, visited his client in prison. In a letter to Uppsala District Court, the lawyer says that they met for just under two hours. According to the lawyer, Assange’s state of health at the meeting was such that ‘a normal conversation with him was not possible’. Julian Assange is said to have been taken to the prison’s ward, but there is no more detailed information about his state of health.”

This story was picked up from Upsala Nya Tidning by Danish new agency Ritzau and published in the outlet Politiken, with the title (per machine translation) “Weakened Assange hospitalized in London prison: ‘Impossible to have a normal conversation with him.’” These outlets are to my understanding as reputable as any other mainstream western outlet, yet they remain the only publications I’ve been able to find which are reporting that Assange has been hospitalized. This is absolutely bizarre.

I’ve emailed Per Samuelson with a request to confirm the news that Assange has been hospitalized. I’ll update this article if I hear back.

For Assange’s supporters, one of the many frustrating things about his imprisonment has been the way he’s been cut off from the usual means by which people learned about his wellbeing. It used to be that news reports could be easily confirmed or refuted by people who had consistent access to Assange in some way by sources like the WikiLeaks Twitter account, but the people who operate that account don’t have ready access to him anymore.

Rumor Mill

Now we’re seeing all sorts of rumors circulating about how Assange is faring in prison, and it gets difficult to sort out fact from fiction. It appears that it would be difficult to find a more reliable source on the state of his health than his own lawyer, however.

It has long been an established fact that Assange was in failing health while trapped in the Ecuadorian embassy in London; doctors who visited him published an article with The Guardian in January 2018 titled We examined Julian Assange, and he badly needs care – but he can’t get it.”

Renata Avila, an activist and author who has worked with and written about WikiLeaks, tweeted in response to the new revelations, “He needed urgent assistance after his expulsion from the Embassy. Instead, he was not allowed to receive adequate medical treatment. In the case of Emin Huseynov (1 y @ Swiss Embassy) it took at least a month of treatment to go back to normal. Imagine after 7 years! Brutal.”

We have been watching the slow-motion assassination of Julian Assange. They have been choking him to death by tactical psyops, siege tactics, and willful neglect as surely as if they placed a noose tied around his neck, not just in Belmarsh prison but in the embassy as well. The only difference between his execution and someone on death row is the same as the difference between covert and overt warfare, which makes sense because the intelligence, judicial and military agencies carrying out his death sentence operate within the same power structure that carries out war. First came the smears (propaganda), then came the siege (sanctions), and they staged their coup (dragged him out of the embassy) and now they’ve got him in their clutches and they can do what they want behind closed doors. That’s how you kill a nation while still looking like a nice guy, and that’s how they’re killing Assange.

Shout this from the rooftops. Whether this media blackout is self-imposed or perhaps the result of the malicious use of a D-notice, we have to use everything in our power to get this information into the mainstream, and get people asking questions of the press and their local members about what the Dickens is going on in Belmarsh prison right now. Assange’s life may depend on it.

Caitlin Johnstone is a rogue journalist, poet, and utopia prepper who publishes regularly at Medium. Follow her work on FacebookTwitter, or her website. She has a podcast and a new book Woke: A Field Guide for Utopia Preppers.” This article was re-published with permission.

28 comments for “Assange Is Reportedly Gravely Ill, and Hardly Anyone’s Talking About It

  1. Robert Mayer
    June 2, 2019 at 12:22

    Tnx CN,Caitlin… Many CN readers 2young2 remember but was old radio show in 50s called: “Hit Parade”

  2. Maitland Bowen
    June 1, 2019 at 22:34

    This is the world in which we live! No wonder I despair, and yet I remain reactive and, in a sense, I never give up (if that makes sense).
    Shocking things happen to people everywhere.
    We allow it, we don’t even notice, we obfuscate, …
    The parallels here with the appalling treatment (or ignorant and/or deliberate ignoring) by the powers that be (and the populace that remain silent), the slow demise and the resultant ill-health of Julian Assange compared with the appalling mismanagement of people seeking refugee status in Australia and the endless maintenance of offshore detention of people legitimately seeking justice, just ‘bowls me over’. At the same time, I’m not surprised at this punishing behaviour towards others by human beings, which, indeed amounts to a form of torture.
    The impotence of what to do!

  3. June 1, 2019 at 15:55

    We all need to make a stand for Julian Assange, the truth teller. He is in prison for telling the truth. Whilst the guilty, corrupt are out there free. This is to stop people telling the truth about others in high places. If no one stands up for this man. Who will stand up for you.

    • Anonymous
      June 1, 2019 at 17:14

      Most people don’t have someone to truly stand up for them, but that’s no reason not to stand up for Assange given that’s exactly what he tried to do for the American public. He may be one of the last of his kind in this country given the way children and adults alike are being weeded out if they don’t conform enough these days – all the more reason to support his cause…

      but what can any of us do, exactly? The majority of us are powerless and many of us have already been squashed by the system…

  4. Skeptigal
    May 30, 2019 at 23:46

    This article by Karen Kwiatkowski appeared on on May 7 and then on OffGuardian on May 10. She alleges that psychotropic drugs were used on Julian Assange.

    Due to the backlash because these claims were unsubstantiated she followed up with a reply stating that she cannot reveal her source.

    Until these claims are either confirmed or denied, it is not unimaginable that the UK and US monsters would subject Assange to such horrific treatment.

  5. bjd
    May 30, 2019 at 20:51

    I too was puzzled by the silence.
    Even RT didn’t have anything this morning.

    So I went to YouTube, to check out if there was anything on my favorite channels, and there was Gordon Dimmack, the sole reporter with the news, from the stoop outside the courthouse about the hearing being postponed for I think ten days due to Julian’s ill health.

  6. anita
    May 30, 2019 at 20:46

    Prayers for the health and safety of Julian Assange. Please God our father wrap your arms around Julian and protect him from the evil people who are hurting him. Touch him and heal him let him get strong and able to fight back. Set him free. He has done nothing wrong. God’s word is “TRUTH” and TRUTH is all that Julian has spoken. Truth will win. In Jesus name AMEN

  7. anand arupo
    May 30, 2019 at 10:50

    At this time, it’s difficult to uncover the truth. Thank you for reporting this up-to-date info.

  8. Joe Tedesky
    May 30, 2019 at 09:04

    Here the author compliments Caitlin Johnstone on her reporting.

    My opinion is that now that the major media is taking the side of a free press the dark side will need to punish Assange outside of the legal system. Assange should be transferred from the prison hospital to an outside care facility for who knows what’s going on inside of his captors den? It would be so easy as for his jailers too say that Assange died of failing health due to his own makings. This way the First Amendment supporters would be safe to have their freedom of speech rights (although they omit much in their reporting) as Assange would have died from causes unrelated from the failed press who once supported his demise.

  9. Julie Leak
    May 30, 2019 at 07:05

    This is shameful. Solidarity vigil in NYC today.

  10. Geraldine
    May 30, 2019 at 05:40

    The WITCHUNT by ‘Establishment’ powers perpetrated against Journalist
    Julian Assange is a Witchunt!
    Against every right minded Person who wants A PEACE FILLED WORLD
    ALL of us , All our Basic Human Rights are being eroded by ‘Establishment” misuse of Power.
    Julian is being masachistally “Erased” by these Corrupt Cruel “Establishment” players.
    Who Are Knowingly and with Malice aforethought are perpetrating a Slow erosion of the Physical psychological and Spiritual essence of Julian Assange.

    In addition these unchallenged “Establishment” players may also be ‘causing” the exposure of Julian to unknown Treatment?
    Substances ?And “Frequencies”?
    Inside the walls of Belmarsh Prison?

    Who outside would be able to investigate or prove anything ?
    As its so well concealed with the assistance of many apathetic “compliant “servers of the Deep State and Media outlets”

    Meanwhile the World is being ” Normalized” into accepting the Corrupt Establishment MURDEROUS AGENDA’S
    under the Fake umbrella of “Law’ ?
    Which as all right minded people are aware is nothing but a Travesty of Justice and Human Rights.

    Julian in his recent letter published by Activist Gordon Dimmack asks all of us to
    Now do what Julian No Longer can


    Let us Not PERMIT Corrupt Bilateral Global Establishment Powers to influct with CRUEL Intent
    the Eliminate Julian Assange…

    Let Us NOT Abandon Julian Assange
    Lest we then Blindly Abandon ourselves
    and All of what remains of right Minded Humanity

    Now is the Time to be brave of Heart And Mind
    With Compassion for OUR Human Rights to Exist and Speak TRUTH in a World oF Injustuce

    RISE in Heart
    RISE in Mind
    RISE in Compassion with our Fellow Human Rights ….

  11. David G
    May 29, 2019 at 22:21

    The reason Reuters (and the many outlets that run Reuters copy, which is far more than a “small handful” or “very few”) carried this quote while some other organizations did not, is that Assange’s Swedish lawyer *said it to Reuters*, not in a public statement.

    The report that Assange has been moved to the prison’s hospital wing appears to be pretty new news, and hasn’t been around long enough to honestly be called suppressed. The Swedish article Caitlin Johnstone cites is dated yesterday, and the UK’s The Sun tabloid is now reporting that Wikileaks has tweeted the following:

    “WikiLeaks has grave concerns about the state of health of our publisher, Julian Assange, who has been moved to the health ward of Belmarsh prison.

    “Mr Assange’s health had already significantly deteriorated after seven years inside the Ecuadorian Embassy, under conditions that were incompatible with basic human rights.

    “During the seven weeks in Belmarsh his health has continued to deteriorate and he has dramatically lost weight.

    “The decision of prison authorities to move him to the ward speaks for itself.”

    Media have downplayed, and will continue to downplay, how captivity has ruined Assange’s health because they are low-lifes and are hostile to him, but the news Caitlin discusses here has not been the subject of any particular

    Rather, it is the generally estimable Caitlin and CN who might be said to be burying the lead here: the news (now confirmed by Wikileaks itself) that Julian has been admitted to the hospital, with Wikileaks expressing “grave concerns about [his] health”, is more significant than the lawyer’s statement to Reuters.

  12. Jeff Harrison
    May 29, 2019 at 21:32

    The funny thing is that the masters of the universe seem to think that they can kill Wikileaks by killing Assange. They can’t. Wikileaks continues even though he’s been made a political prisoner. To make matters worse, if they kill him either by malign neglect or outright murdering him, they will make him a martyr. And then, as Obi-wan said, he will become more powerful than they could possibly imagine.

    • Lisa
      May 30, 2019 at 02:13

      There is possibility that a court (Swedish, UK, US) would clear Assange of all the charges, which actually makes him more valuable dead than alive. He has so many enimies (as JFK also did) who now have the motive, means and possibility to clear him out of the way, that I’m very pessimistic of his chances to live until he will face a court.

      Can you see how all the Magnitsky Acts in various countries would be changed to Assange Acts? More likely the powers wanting to destroy him are counting on the issue being buried and forgotten after the first uproar. His death would relieve all the three countries from a very inconvenient burden.

      One detail which is mostly skipped when describing the Assange story is the fact that the Swedish prosecutor did interview him for two days in the Ecuadorian Embassy in 2016. Why on earth was this not enough to determine whether he should be charged or not?

    • Maggie May
      May 31, 2019 at 10:23

      That at least carries some hope.

  13. geeyp
    May 29, 2019 at 20:22

    Extraction to safety is the only fair solution to this. Funds for a militia of sorts required. CVs not necessarily necessary. Same salary as the ones hired to haul him out of London. Also, retrieve his property in the USA.

  14. Charlene Richards
    May 29, 2019 at 19:52

    Hillary Clinton said, “Can’t we just drone him or something?!”

    Looks she is getting her wish with the “or something”.

    • May 30, 2019 at 08:02

      Can’t we drone HER or something?

  15. M.
    May 29, 2019 at 19:16

    Julian Assange, Asia Bibi, dr Ahmadreza Djalali, Raiv Badawi and other innocent prisoners:
    are they in a way the Raoul Wallenberg of the 21st century?

    Too good, too smart, too determined for this world.

  16. Jeff Harrison
    May 29, 2019 at 19:10

    So much for the “liberal rules based order” of the so-called “free world”

  17. boxerwar
    May 29, 2019 at 17:08

    Formula for the Political ‘Atomic Bomb’ Disenfranchisement of the American Gov’t, as we’ve known it/ …
    (quiet wars)

  18. May 29, 2019 at 17:04

    I have long thought Assange would develop rickets or something like it due to his not being exposed to sunlight. Even those on death row get some time each day out on the yard to get sunlight exposure. Assange has been cooped up for 7 years in the dark of an embassy without going outside. Vampires are Hollywood. Bones falling apart and seizures due to vitamin D deficiency is real life.

    • Realist
      May 29, 2019 at 23:59

      He clearly looked unwell in the photo taken when he was arrested by British police. He was hunched, jaundiced and disheveled whilst surrounded by robust hulking goons smiling for the cameras. TPTB wanted to deliberately portray him as weak and pathetic. Maybe for his trial in America, they will bind and gag him like they did Bobby Seal of the Chicago 7, or at least display him in a cage as they do to defendants in some other countries Washington likes to rag on.

  19. boxerwar
    May 29, 2019 at 16:48

    for utopia prep ers and/or doomsday bunker builders . …

  20. jmg
    May 29, 2019 at 16:35

    Pinochet returns to Chile after Britain halts extradition proceedings

    3 March 2000

    “… The rapidity of the indicted torturer’s exit stands in marked contrast to the ponderous pace at which the extradition process was conducted since his arrest in October 1998. …

    “In January, British Home Secretary Jack Straw said he was “minded” to halt the extradition proceedings against Pinochet on health grounds …

    “His trial could have publicly exposed the support given to his brutal coup and years of bloody dictatorship by the American and British governments.”

  21. boxerwar
    May 29, 2019 at 15:46

    May 29, 2019 at 15:17
    Caitlin Johnstone finds this jarring revelation reported by only a few outlets, often in an offhand manner.

    And this is the condemnation,
    that light is come into the world,
    and men loved darkness rather than light,
    because their deeds were evil.
    John 3:19

  22. boxerwar
    May 29, 2019 at 15:17

    Caitlin Johnstone finds this jarring revelation reported by only a few outlets, often in an offhand manner.

    And this is the condemnation,
    that light is come into the world,
    and men loved darkness rather than light,
    because their deeds were evil.
    John 3:19

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