Julian Assange has Covid: Next few days will be ‘crucial’ for WikiLeaks founder’s health as he is ‘locked in his cell 24 hours a day’ amid extradition battle, concerned wife Stella reveals
- WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has tested positive for Covid, his wife has said
- He started to feel unwell last week and tested positive on Saturday
- His positive test came the same day as thousands protested in support of him
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has tested positive for Covid and faces isolation in his prison cell with the next few days ‘crucial’ for him, his ‘worried’ wife has revealed.
Stella Assange told the PA news agency she is concerned for his health, which has deteriorated since he was sent to Belmarsh prison three years ago after being dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
He is embroiled in a lengthy legal battle to avoid extradition to the United States.
News of the Covid infection emerged over the weekend, as thousands of people staged demonstrations in London, Washington DC and Melbourne to demand Assange’s release from prison.
Mrs Assange said: ‘Julian was feeling unwell last week but started feeling sick on Friday.
‘He started coughing and had a fever. He was given some paracetamol. He tested positive for Covid on Saturday, the same day thousands of people came out onto the streets to support him.
Julian Assange has tested positive for Covid after he started to feel unwell last week (pictured in January 2020)
Mrs Assange said the British government should speak to authorities in the United States to end the extradition bid which was launched in 2019
One of Julian Assange’s boys grinned at the reception from the crowd, some of whom carried life-size cardboard cutouts of their father
‘I am obviously worried about him and the next few days will be crucial for his general health. He is now locked in his cell for 24 hours a day.’
Mrs Assange said she was overjoyed at the number of people who formed a human chain around Parliament on Saturday, estimating there were well over 5,000 in attendance.
It was the biggest event of its kind in support of the WikiLeaks founder, who has won support from human rights organisations, journalist groups and others across the world.
Last month, US lawyers and journalists who visited Assange when he was at the Ecuadorian Embassy said they are suing the CIA, claiming it spied on their private conversations in violation of the Fourth Amendment.
Supporters of the WikiLeaks founder demonstrated outside parliament on Saturday to demand an end to an attempt by the US to have him extradited to face criminal charges.
Hundreds, including former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, gathered in a line which stretched from parliament’s perimeter railings and snaked across nearby Westminster Bridge to the other side of the River Thames.
Carboard cut outs were seen at the protest, where hundreds gathered outside Parliament
Mrs Assange said the UK government should speak to authorities in the US to end the extradition bid which was launched in 2019.
‘It’s already gone on for three-and-a-half years. It is a stain on the United Kingdom and is a stain on the Biden administration,’ she said.
Assange, 51, is wanted by US authorities on 18 counts, including a spying charge, relating to WikiLeaks’ release of confidential US military records and diplomatic cables.
Washington says he put lives in danger. His supporters say he has been victimised because he exposed US wrongdoing in conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Assange’s legal team have lodged an appeal at the High Court against London’s decision to extradite him.
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