Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder who has been living at Ecuador’s embassy in London since 2012, suffered a stroke on Oct. 4 and is now in a wheelchair, according to Christine Assange, his fiancée.
In an email sent on Thursday to two correspondents and shared on Twitter by the website called The Underground, Christine Assange described the devastating effects of the stroke, which she said required him to leave the hospital and had left him unable to speak.
Christine Assange: Julian had a stroke during October 22nd hearing before Ecuador embassy (Oct 4th). — The Underground (@theundergroundnews) December 27, 2018
Julian Assange: There was a small bleed in his brain. All he could express was relief that he could start therapy right away. — The Underground (@theundergroundnews) December 27, 2018
Christine Assange: Julian’s speech loss (voice and speech impairments) can’t be reversed, but will improve slowly.
So, after more than two years at the embassy, he’s now in a wheelchair and has begun therapy. He has a plate in his back. — The Underground (@theundergroundnews) December 27, 2018
Julian Assange: Almost everything is well-contemplated, and now the results of that consideration are something out of my control. — The Underground (@theundergroundnews) December 27, 2018
The email to journalists and readers said that Julian Assange was due to complete his therapy on Dec. 28. Christine Assange’s voice sounded affected as she spoke in a heavily accented British accent, suggesting that she was attempting to protect herself and Julian Assange.
In her email, Christine Assange claimed that the U.K. Embassy in Ecuador had been “extremely abusive” and that Julian Assange had made several complaints about the way the Foreign and Commonwealth Office had treated him over the years.
The Associated Press reported that Christine Assange said in her email, “Unfortunately, those protests had little effect and after more than two years at the embassy he’s now in a wheelchair and has begun therapy. He has a plate in his back.”
Assange has been granted political asylum by Ecuador in 2012 after he sought refuge at the country’s embassy to avoid being extradited to Sweden. He subsequently was diagnosed with cancer, and the Ecuador embassy is paying for his treatment. He remains free to live at the embassy and enjoy a suite of amenities, but is confined to a balcony inside the embassy. A court earlier this month extended the temporary asylum he was granted until December.
Assange does not have a scheduled hearing regarding his asylum status until next month.
Sexual abuse charges thrown out against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
Court rejects Julian Assange’s appeal against extradition to Sweden
Judge who approved Julian Assange’s asylum order draws complaints