The mother of whistle-blower extraordinaire Julian Assange once tweeted: “My son Julian #Assange is being slowly, cruelly & unlawfully assassinated by the #US and #UK Governments, for multi-award winning journalism revealing war crimes & corruption!” Sadly, she is being proved right. For the American and British governments, it would be messy politically to assassinate Assange outright, such as what Saudi Arabia did with dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Seeing him rot either in a proper prison or while waiting for extradition to the United States is their best option. This is not to say Americans didn’t think about murdering him. In September, Yahoo News disclosed from interviews with more than 30 former officials during the Donald Trump presidency that the US Central Intelligence Agency under Trump’s then-CIA director Mike Pompeo – who was later made secretary of state – once plotted to kidnap or kill Assange, even at the risk of a shoot-out in the busy streets of London. Now, after news reports of Assange having suffered a stroke, an international group of more than 300 medical professionals has issued a warning that his health is deteriorating fast and that he could die. How to weaponise human rights In a statement, Doctors for Assange, an NGO, wrote: “Assange’s apparent mini stroke may be the tip of a medical iceberg. Indeed his symptoms suggest as much. It is therefore imperative that Mr Assange be released from prison, where his health will otherwise continue to deteriorate and where his complex medical needs cannot be met. “Continued incarceration will place Julian Assange’s life at risk. On the issue of cardiovascular pathology, we have been proven right. We do not wish to be proven right on the issue of Mr Assange’s survival.” The UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and his medical team have already concluded that Assange was suffering from “all symptoms typical for prolonged exposure to psychological torture”, from his detention by British authorities. China to America: No way to treat the guy who saved your life In the eyes of Washington, the WikiLeaks founder committed the worst offence possible by exposing US assassinations and wanton killings of civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan; the torture of men and boys aged between 14 and 89 at Guantanamo; illegal spying of UN secretary generals and other diplomats; US involvement in the 2009 coup in Honduras; and the US sponsorship of a genocidal war in Yemen. You don’t know anything about Yemen, even where it is on the map? Here are some figures from the UNHCR, the UN refugee agency: 4 million Yemenis have been forced to flee their homes because of the crisis; 79 per cent of them are women and children; 20 million people in Yemen are in dire need of humanitarian assistance; the conflict has affected more than two thirds of Yemen’s population; 16 million Yemenis suffer from hunger and 5 million more are on the brink of famine. The Doctors for Assange are wrong to think the Western governments would worry if Assange didn’t survive. That is the likely outcome that Washington wants while its Western allies are willing to turn a blind eye.