In a new letter to the British medical journal The Lancet, Doctors for Assange say that the British government may be held legally responsible for the torture of the imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher.
Here is the doctors’ statement followed by the letter to The Lancet and the doctors’ letter to the Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice Robert Buckland.
UK officials may be legally culpable in the torture of Julian Assange
Doctors have warned that UK officials could be held accountable for the torture of Julian Assange in an open letter published in The Lancet on International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.
The 216 undersigned physicians and psychologists from 33 countries have accused UK and U.S. government officials of intensifying Julian Assange’s psychological torture in spite of the world’s leading authorities on human rights and international law calling for his immediate release from prison.
Clinical Psychologist and Australian co-author of the publication, ‘The ongoing torture and medical neglect of Julian Assange’, Dr Lissa Johnson said the failure to properly treat Mr Assange may amount to an act of torture in which state officials, from parliament to court to prison, risk being judged complicit.
“Our letter is published just two days after the US Department of Justice announced a new superseding indictment against Assange representing yet another escalation in psychological torture tactics,” said Dr Johnson.
“Introducing extra charges at this late stage, right before the defence evidence deadline and over a year after the indictment deadline, when documents given to the prison generally take two weeks to be passed on, when he has not been supplied with a computer and when he is unable to meet with lawyers under Coronavirus lockdown, serves to ramp up his helplessness in the face of threat and is a key psychological torture tactic,” she said.
The doctors note that torture is prohibited under UK law, warning that UK officials could be judged “complicit”, including for their “silent acquiescence and consent”. They write that Assange at medical risk due to escalating abuses of his “fundamental human and legal rights at the hands of judicial,