Doctors Issue Urgent Australian Appeal to Save Julian Assange

More than 100 medical doctors urge the Australian government to protect the life of its citizen “before it is too late.”  

More than 100 medical doctors have issued an urgent appeal to the Australian government to protect the life of its citizen, imprisoned WikiLeaks journalist and publisher Julian Assange.

The doctors’ action follows warnings from medical and human rights experts that Mr. Assange’s health is rapidly deteriorating and that he might die in a U.K. prison where he is being held pending U.S. extradition hearings that begin in February.

In an open letter to the Australian minister for foreign affairs (dated Dec. 16), the doctors urge Marise Payne to negotiate Julian Assange’s safe passage from Belmarsh Prison to an appropriate hospital setting in Australia, “before it is too late.”

“It is an extremely serious matter for an Australian citizen’s survival to be endangered by a foreign government obstructing his human right to health. It is an even more serious matter for that citizen’s own government to refuse to intervene, against historical precedent and numerous converging lines of medical advice,” the letter states.

“Should Mr. Assange die in a British prison, people will want to know what you, Minister, did to prevent his death.”

On Nov. 22, more than 60 medical doctors wrote to the U.K. home secretary urging that Assange be transferred from Belmarsh maximum-security prison to a university teaching hospital for expert medical assessment and care. Despite worldwide media attention, the doctors’ urgent advice was ignored.

Signatory and Australian medical practitioner Arthur Chesterfield-Evans said that sacrificing Assange by aiding and abetting the obstruction of his medical care reflected a chilling example of Australia ceding its sovereignty, freedoms and laws.

“If Australia believes in universal moral values of truth ahead of authoritarian regimes using fear and abusing legal process to silence journalists, it must act to protect Julian Assange, his life, and his health,” Dr. Chesterfield-Evans said.

Specialist in diagnostic radiology (U.K. and Sweden) and signatory Stephen Frost said the doctors agreed with the assessment of the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture Nils Melzer that Julian Assange had been “psychologically tortured.”

“That doctors should have to write open letters to the U.K. and Australian governments to demand appropriate health care for a victim of torture is beyond belief,” Dr. Frost said.

“The torture must stop now, and Mr. Assange must be provided with immediate access to the health care which he so obviously needs before it is too late.”

“We appeal to the Australian public to support us in ensuring that the Australian government protects the rights of its citizens, which is its primary duty. There can be no exceptions,” he said.

Copies of the letter have also been sent to Prime Minister Scott Morrison, Leader of the Opposition Anthony Albanese and Shadow Minister for Foreign Affairs Penny Wong.

The open letter will be publicly accessible online along with an accompanying addendum explaining the medical basis for the doctors’ warnings and concerns. The full text of the Nov. 22 open letter and list of signatories can also be found here.

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7 comments for “Doctors Issue Urgent Australian Appeal to Save Julian Assange

  1. jmg
    December 20, 2019 at 07:01

    Julian Assange is appearing at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London today Friday, December 20:

    > Belmarsh did not bring Julian to Westminster Magistrates’ Court as scheduled due to a Belmarsh mixup.
    So it is postponed to this afternoon.

    (Don’t Extradite Assange — @DEAcampaign — Twitter — Dec 20, 2019)

    > LIVE: Assange testifies on being recorded during exile in embassy: stakeout

    > WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is appearing at the Westminster Magistrates’ Court in London on Friday, December 20 to testify on espionage claims during his exile at the Ecuadorian Embassy. Assange is expected to testify remotely before Spanish Judge Jose de la Mata, who is overseeing an investigation into surveillance activities of UC Global, a Spanish security firm accused of recording the WikiLeaks founder during his exile and passing the material on to the United States’ intelligence services. Director of UC Global David Morales had been detained in August and has since been released on bail. Assange’s defense team filed a criminal complaint against Morales, accusing his company of privacy offences as well as violation of attorney-client privilege.

    (LIVE: Assange testifies on being recorded during exile in embassy: stakeout — Ruptly — YouTube — Dec 20, 2019)

  2. jmg
    December 17, 2019 at 06:43

    Courage Foundation on Twitter:

    > LONDON: Next Thursday, 19th December, Julian Assange will appear by video link at Westminster Magistrates Court:

    > #FreeAssange
    > #DontExtraditeAssange”


    (Courage Foundation — Twitter — Dec 16, 2019)

  3. Darlene
    December 16, 2019 at 22:53

    It strikes me that during this season of Christmas Hanukkah Ramadan and even Kwanza that people of any and all faiths cannot come together in an act of mercy especially in a nation that claims to be civilized like Australia. All of this shows how truly evil and corrupt the oligarchs of the world have become and how the masses have been manipulated to be nothing more than serfs of the elites We have truly entered into another Dark Age

    • December 18, 2019 at 13:29

      I completely agree

  4. Angela Mitchell
    December 16, 2019 at 22:18

    This is the biggest story this decade and none of the MSM are reporting it. Making platitudes is not enough The Guardian, New York Times and La Monde. You have blood on your hands by setting up Julian, collaborating together to makeWikileaks live then acting as if you just stumbled across this in the street. You make me ashamed to be a journalist, especially NUJ members who know what’s going on here? We should be organising marches, getting him proper Media Lawyers from the Union who work on behalf of journalists every day? I will do all I can but will you all follow suit?

  5. Ali Aziz
    December 16, 2019 at 14:59

    If UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, Nil Melzer has determined that Assange has been “psychologically” tortured, then why isn’t the UN Human Rights Commission doing anything about it and why is everyone so deathly quiet when it comes to raising a voice for Julian Assange?

    It’s shameful that the so called”democratic press” made tons of money out of Assange by. breaking the biggest newsstory about WikiLeaks, but now under political pressure they seem to have lost their ethical moorings and moral conscience.

    I would appeal to all the doctors, journalists, teachers and students, and any body with an iota of conscience left in them, to follow the example if the 100 Australian doctors and start a massive signature campaign to release Assange forthwith from the Belmarsh prison.

    At the same time, the lawyers with a conscience must petition the International Court of Justice against the inhumane treatment of Julian and his immediate release to a hospital to save his life.

    The Assange Case has also exposed the neutrality and independence of the British judiciary that has buckled under political pressure under Trump Junior, i.e., Boris Johnson.

  6. Lucius Patrick
    December 16, 2019 at 10:25

    One thing not helping Assange is all the foolish liberals and Democrats who supported the Russian collusion hoax story against Trump. Any Aid given Assange now is easily seen as assisting the pro-russian collusionists. As a former lifelong Democrat, I would have assumed that the Democrats would be supporting Assange in the name of a free press but they have now gone so far off the deep end that there is no coming back for them and their insane policies. All one can do now is support Trump and hope for the best against the insane libtards.

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