The wife of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange says he was subjected to “especially cruel” treatment after his extradition to the US was approved in Britain.
Stella Moris told journalists on Thursday that Assange was strip-searched and moved to a bare cell on the very day British Home Secretary Priti Patel approved his extradition to the US.
She added that her husband remained there for a weekend as prison guards searched his own cell.
“Prison is a constant humiliation but what happened on Friday felt especially cruel,” said Moris, adding that the guards had told him that it had all been done “for his own protection.”
She denounced the British Home Office for deciding to extradite Assange to the United States, where he is wanted for his role in leaking thousands of secret government documents.
Assange, 50, is wanted by the US government for publishing classified documents related to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars that were leaked by whistleblower Chelsea Manning, a US Army intelligence analyst.
In 2010 WikiLeaks published about 750,000 classified military and diplomatic documents. The most devastating batch was The Iraqi War Logs, which represent the biggest military leak in the history of the United States
“The fact he is imprisoned while this outrageous extradition proceeds is a grave injustice in itself. He needs to deal with all that, while preparing for a complex appeal to the High Court,” Moris said.
“This kind of thing never becomes more tolerable. Any person would find it degrading. The mental strain on Julian is enormous as it is, having to process what is essentially a death sentence,” Moris said, adding that extradition to the US would “drive him to take his own life.”
It is not some “regular discussion about mental health,” she has insisted, adding that “we are talking about driving a person to take their own life.”
Assange had spent seven years at the Ecuadorian embassy in London before his arrest by UK Metropolitan Police in April after the Ecuadorian government canceled his asylum.
Former Republican congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul has said “truth is treason” when you are dealing with the American Empire.