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Ecuador Officials 'Very Concerned' over Health of Assange

Common Dreams staff

Julian Assange addresses media from the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London on August 19, 2012 (AFP Photo / Will Oliver)

Ecuador officials announced that they are "very concerned" about the health of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange this week, who has lost a considerable amount of weight since he began his stay at the Ecuadoran embassy in London.

"In case of his illness we will have to pick among two options: to treat Mr. Assange at the embassy or to hospitalize him," said deputy foreign minister of Ecuador, Marco Albuja.

Assange risks arrest upon leaving the embassy by London authorities who are after Assange for an extradition case in which Assange has been required to travel to Sweden over allegations of sexual abuse.

Assange, who maintains the allegations are politically motivated, fled to the Ecuadoran embassy to claim asylum earlier this year. Ecuador has granted Assange asylum, but has not solved the problem of transporting him from the embassy in London without running into eager UK authorities.

“We have officially asked the UK for safe passage,” Vice Foreign Minister Marco Albuja Martinez told RT. “But we are concerned that while UK authorities mull over the decision, Julian Assange’s health may break down completely.”

Assange stated in September that his health was "slowly deteriorating" in the embassy and he had "a racking cough".

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