There are major concerns activist Julian Assange will die in prison, with Pamela Anderson arriving in Austrlia to lobby the PM.
Former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson has urged Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison to “pick up the phone” and call President Trump to help save Julian Assange from life in prison.
The Canadian model and animal rights campaigner has become a close friend of Julian Assange and a high-profile advocate for his case.
She was set to speak at an event in Canberra this week but forced to cancel due to scheduling conflicts. Instead, extracts of her speech have been published in which she urges Mr Morrison to “pick up the phone and save an Australian hero”.
“Pick up the phone and call President [Donald] Trump and call Prime Minister [Boris] Johnson and tell them to do their part to save the people’s democratic right in the Western world and free Julian Assange,” it reads.
“Silence is complicity when faced with the onset of tyranny and the destruction of human rights as this case symbolises in the highest order.”
Julian Assange is being held in London’s Belmarsh prison and is facing extradition to the US and charges under the Espionage Act which could lead to 175 years in prison
Ms Anderson said he is suffering “psychological torture” and argued he doesn’t want “special treatment” but to be treated like any other “citizen and journalist” under the law.
“Every Australian needs to be aware that if Julian Assange is extradited to the USA for publishing then every other journalist and publisher of facts on the internet is vulnerable to execution or 175 years’ imprisonment for simply publishing facts that were delivered to him by whistleblowers,” she said.
It comes after an open letter signed by more than 60 doctors warned the Wikileaks founder could die in prison without urgent medical care.
The medics, from the UK, Australia, Europe and Sri Lanka expressed “serious concerns” about 48-year-old Assange’s fitness to stand trial in the letter addressed to British Home Secretary Priti Patel.
Mr Assange will face a hearing in February over his extradition to the US where he faces 18 charges, including conspiring to hack into a Pentagon computer.
Assange is accused of working with former US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to leak hundreds of thousands of classified documents.
The doctors are calling for Assange to be transferred to a university teaching hospital, where he can be assessed and treated by an expert medical team.
“From a medical point of view, on the evidence currently available, we have serious concerns about Mr Assange’s fitness to stand trial in February 2020,” the letter says.
“Most importantly, it is our opinion that Mr Assange requires urgent expert medical assessment of both his physical and psychological state of health.
“Any medical treatment indicated should be administered in a properly equipped and expertly staffed university teaching hospital (tertiary care).
“Were such urgent assessment and treatment not to take place, we have real concerns, on the evidence currently available, that Mr Assange could die in prison.
“The medical situation is thereby urgent. There is no time to lose.”
Last week WikiLeaks welcomed the decision by the Swedish authorities to drop a rape investigation into Assange.
He was jailed for 50 weeks in May for breaching his bail conditions after going into hiding in the Ecuadorean embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden over the sex offence allegations, which he has always denied.
Assange has been in custody since he was dramatically removed from the building in April.
Dr Lissa Johnson, a clinical psychologist in Australia and one of the letter’s signatories, said: “Given the rapid decline of his health in Belmarsh prison, Julian Assange must immediately be transferred to a university teaching hospital for appropriate and specialised medical care.
“If the UK government fails to heed doctors’ advice by urgently arranging such a transfer on medical grounds, there is a very real possibility that Mr Assange may die.
“Consistent with its commitment to human rights and rule of law, the UK government must heed the urgent warning of medical professionals from around the world, and transfer Julian Assange to an appropriately specialised and expert hospital setting before it’s too late.”