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Julian Assange has suffered a stroke in Belmarsh Prison, it has been reported.
His fiancee Stella Moris said he is “struggling” with his ongoing battle to avoid extradition to America.
The WikiLeaks publisher, 50, is being held on remand in the maximum-security prison.
He was reportedly left with a drooping right eyelid, memory problems and signs of neurological damage.
The mini-stroke reportedly happened at the time of a High Court appearance via video link from Belmarsh two months ago.
It is thought to have been triggered by the stress of his ongoing battle to fight extradition to a US prison.
He has since had an MRI scan and is taking anti-stroke medication, it has been reported.
AFP via Getty Images)
Ms Morris, 38, a lawyer, told The Mail on Sunday: “Julian is struggling and I fear this mini-stroke could be the precursor to a more major attack. It compounds our fears about his ability to survive the longer this long legal battle goes on.
“It urgently needs to be resolved. Look at animals trapped in cages in a zoo. It cuts their life short. That’s what’s happening to Julian.
“The never-ending court cases are extremely stressful mentally.”
Assange also faces his third Christmas behind bars as he was hit with a major setback on Friday when the US government won a High Court decision.
AFP via Getty Images)
Assange is wanted in America over an alleged conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defence information following WikiLeaks’s publication of hundreds of thousands of leaked documents relating to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.
US authorities brought a High Court challenge against a January ruling by then-district judge Vanessa Baraitser that Assange should not be sent to the US, in which she cited a real and “oppressive” risk of suicide.
After a two-day hearing in October, the Lord Chief Justice Lord Burnett, sitting with Lord Justice Holroyde, ruled in favour of the US on Friday.
The senior judges found that the judge had based her decision on the risk of Assange being held in highly restrictive prison conditions if extradited.
However, the US authorities later gave assurances that Assange would not face those strictest measures either pre-trial or post-conviction unless he committed an act in the future that required them.
Lord Burnett said if those assurances had been offered to Judge Baraitser, she would have ruled differently.
He added: “That conclusion is sufficient to determine this appeal in the USA’s favour.”
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.