Dear Lord Chancellor,
We hear today that there is great concern about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on our crowded prisons in the UK. Staffing is short in ‘thousands’ and prisoners are being confined for long hours in their cells. We understand that you are concerned about the 50 pregnant women prisoners. Further, that you are considering the release of 8000 prisoners on remand.
We have written as doctors in great concern about the journalist Julian Assange who is one of those prisoners on remand. There is all evidence that his physical and mental health is in the lowest state.
We have feared that he will die in the Belmarsh high security prison. That risk is now made more certain with the likely presence of the Covid-19 virus within the prison, especially given his current association with other inmates.
We ask in humanity and for the law of our dear country, that he be released forthwith into the care of a fellow doctor’s family where he will be nourished in mind and body, and made ready for the May hearings of the US request for extradition.
David Halpin MB BS FRCS