WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen in a police van, after he was arrested by British police, in London, Britain April 11, 2019. © REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
Australian journalist and BAFTA award-winning documentary filmmaker John Pilger says the “psychological torture” of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange continues “unabated” while he remains in British custody.
Pilger tweeted that he recently spoke with Assange and said the journalist had lost even more weight than previously reported; he has also been denied a chance to speak to his parents on the phone.
The journalist has been a staunch defender of Assange since his showdown with Western governments began following WikiLeaks’ publication of sensitive US documents exposing potential war crimes in Iraq.
Assange was arrested at the Ecuadorian Embassy in central London on April 11 and received a 50-week sentence for skipping bail in a Swedish investigation involving alleged sexual assault.
The 48-year-old now faces extradition to the United States, where he is charged with possession and dissemination of classified information. If found guilty, he could receive up to 175 years in prison.
Assange has been in Washington’s crosshairs for years, with his organization gaining notoriety after publishing a leaked video showing the US military attacking journalists and civilians in Iraq in July 2007.