WIKILEAKS founder Julian Assange has reportedly been moved to the hospital wing of HMP Belmarsh following “dramatic” weight loss and health complications.
The news comes after he was charged with 17 new counts of espionage for publishing classified documents earlier this week.
Assange is due to appear in court today for a hearing on his extradition to the United States to face espionage charges.
In a statement last night, the organisation said: “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.”
After Assange was kicked out of the Ecuadorian Embassy last month, he was sentenced to 50 weeks in a British prison for breaching his bail terms in 2012 to escape being extradited to Sweden for sexual offence charges.
Assange was visiting Sweden in August 2010 to speak at a conference when he met two women and had sex with them.
They accused him of rape and molestation and Assange was questioned but never charged over the allegations.
He was initially told he could leave the country, but in November of that year, Interpol issued a Red Notice for his arrest.
Assange has always denied the claims.
He gave himself up a week later and appeared before a judge in Westminster, where his supporters stumped up £240,000 for his bail.
In June 2012, Swedish prosecutors called for him to be extradited – a measure his lawyers opposed in case he was sent to the US.
On June 19, 2012, he fled bail and applied for asylum in Ecuador, through the embassy in Knightsbridge, London.
Assange was last week charged with 17 new counts of espionage for publishing classified documents.
The charge read: “Assange, WikiLeaks affiliates and Manning shared the common objective to subvert lawful restrictions on classified information and to publicly disseminate it.”
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Prosecutors allege that Assange and WikiLeaks “repeatedly encouraged sources with access to classified information to steal it.”
Each of the alleged 17 violations of the Espionage Act carries a potential ten-year prison sentence, the Washington Post reported.
Sun Online has approached the Ministry of Justice for comment.
Assange pictured in 2012 arriving at the Supreme Court in London[/caption]
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