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Assange Plays Down Lung Illness Concerns

By Jack Phillips
Epoch Times Staff
Created: November 29, 2012 Last Updated: December 11, 2012
Related articles: World » Europe
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WikiLeaks website spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson (L) and WikiLeaks lawyer Sveinn Andri Sveinsson (R) assist Wikileaks founder Julian Assange (on the screen), as he gives from London a video conference in Brussels on Nov. 27, 2012. (Georges Gobet/AFP/Getty Images)

WikiLeaks website spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson (L) and WikiLeaks lawyer Sveinn Andri Sveinsson (R) assist Wikileaks founder Julian Assange (on the screen), as he gives from London a video conference in Brussels on Nov. 27, 2012. (Georges Gobet/AFP/Getty Images)

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange on Thursday de-emphasized concerns that he has a chronic lung infection as a result of staying at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for nearly six months.

Assange has been forced to stay in the embassy since June after several U.K. courts rejected his appeal against being extradited to Sweden, where he faces questioning over alleged sexual misconduct.

Recently, Ecuadorian authorities expressed concerns that Assange has a lung ailment that might worsen at any time, according to media reports. He is getting medical treatment.

But Assange, when asked by Reuters about his health, said only that “the confinement, the circumstances are obviously difficult,” without elaborating. The reporters who interviewed him said there were no apparent physical signs that he is ill.

“I rather enjoy being swept away in the storm of it all. You only live once so it’s important that we do something that is meaningful with our time,” he told the news agency.

Ecuadorian Ambassador Ana Alban had previously told The Independent that Assange had been relegated to a “confined space” and “not only does the embassy have few windows but the city is also dark at this time—we have very little daylight in London.”

If Assange had to go to the hospital to seek emergency medical treatment, the British government made assurances that it would not prevent him from doing so, according to The Independent.

Assange said he was spending his time working on a book, “Cypherpunks,” that warns about increasing amounts of people’s personal data being stored on the Internet.

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