July 5, 2022

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WikiLeaks founder marries ex-lawyer in prison

WikiLeaks founder marries ex-lawyer in prison

Julian Assange will marry his fiancée, Stella Morris, at Belmarsh Prison, southeast London. afp_tickers

This content was published on March 23, 2022 – 07:41

(AFP)

Australian Julian Assange and his fiancée, South African lawyer Stella Morris, marry, Wednesday, in a British maximum security prison where the WikiLeaks founder has been held since his 2019 arrest at the Ecuadorean embassy in London.

Assange, 50, is trying by all means not to extradite him to the United States, which wants to prosecute him for publishing hundreds of thousands of secret documents, many of which revealed the violations committed by the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Last week, the British High Court rejected the possibility of appealing the extradition, which is the final order of the British Home Secretary, Priti Patel, now.

Assange and Maurice secretly fathered two children during the seven years the Australian lived as a refugee at the Ecuadorean Commission in London, where he was arrested in April 2019 when President Lenin Moreno withdrew the protection granted to him by his predecessor Rafael in 2012. Belt.

In November, they announced their engagement and obtained permission to marry in Belmarsh Prison, south of the capital.

And Morris wrote in an article published on Wednesday in Britain: “This is not a prison wedding, this is a declaration of love and resistance despite prison walls, despite political persecution, despite arbitrary detention, despite the harm and harassment that Julian and our family have been subjected to.” Leftist Daily Guardian.

An official from the Civil Registry will carry out the engagement and only four guests and two witnesses can attend.

Morris denounced the prison authorities’ refusal to propose the witnesses – who are journalists – and the photographer – who also works in the press – even though they were going to attend the party “in private”.

“They want Julian to remain invisible to the public at all costs, even on his wedding day, and especially on his wedding day,” he wrote, comparing this “the logic of making a person disappear in the hope that they will be forgotten” “what Soviet Russia was doing.”

– ‘All resources’ exhausted –

The dress for the bride, a young lawyer who joined Assange’s defense team in 2011, was designed by legendary British designer Vivienne Westwood, 80, a longtime supporter of Assange’s cause.

The Australian would wear a Scottish skirt, in nod to his ancestors.

Guests will have to leave immediately after the party is over, but dressed in their best clothes, and dozens of supporters plan a rally in front of the prison, where Morris—who has asked for donations for legal expenses in lieu of gifts—will cut and make the cake. Speech.

Assange has become a thorn in the side of press freedom advocates, who accuse Washington of trying to suppress security-related information. But the US authorities say he is not a journalist, but a hacker, and he put the lives of several informants at risk by publishing the full documents without editing them first.

If convicted of espionage in the United States, Assange could be sentenced to 175 years in prison.

His defense, coordinated by former Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón, argued that he could commit suicide if exposed to the US prison system. He managed at first to persuade the British justice to agree with him.

But the US CEO appealed the verdict and convinced the judges that he would be held in good conditions and appropriate psychological treatment, and was given the green light to surrender.

“We will exhaust all national and international resources to defend those who have committed no crime and have heroically and courageously resisted persecution for over eleven years defending freedom of expression and access to information,” Garzon said, noting that his fight against extradition may not end here.

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