The WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is apparently suffering from a chronic lung condition after spending months inside a single-room office at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
The country’s ambassador to the UK, Ana Alban, has said she will appeal to the Home Office for Mr Assange – who has been inside Ecuador’s embassy since June – to be granted safe passage to medical care.
He was given political asylum by Ecuador after unsuccessfully attempting to halt extradition from Britain to Sweden where he is wanted for questioning on sexual assault charges concerning two women.
However, he faces arrest if he steps outside the embassy building and Foreign Secretary William Hague has insisted the Government will not allow him safe passage out of Britain.
Mr Assange who denies the allegations, fears he will eventually be sent to the US to face questions over his whistle-blowing website.
Ms Alban has told an Ecuadorian government newspaper that Mr Assange needs constant medical attention at his refuge.
She said Ecuador is covering treatment costs but is concerned his condition could deteriorate over the winter with his limited access to fresh air and sunlight.
Mr Assange gained notoriety after publishing a catalogue of sensitive documents, US diplomatic cables and military files from the US and Afghan wars online.