Julian Assange has been in the British prison Belmarsh for two years. Now, for the first time in months, he was allowed to see his fiancée and two young sons. They hope for US President Biden.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange received a visit from his fiancée and two young sons for the first time in eight months in the British maximum security prison in Belmarsh. 38-year-old Stella Morris said after Saturday’s visit that Assange’s situation was “utterly unbearable and grotesque”. “It can’t go on like this,” said Morris. Assange torments himself, the detention drives him into a “deep depression and despair”.
49-year-old Assange has been in the maximum security prison in south London for more than two years. He was arrested in the UK in April 2019 after holing up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for seven years. Assange is charged in the United States with the publication of classified documents and with espionage. If convicted, he would face up to 175 years imprisonment there.
Moris is now hoping for the new US administration under President Joe Biden. She showed signs that she was committed to freedom of expression, said Moris: “The only logical step would be to drop this entire prosecution (…)”.
Julian Assange (archive image): If convicted in the USA, he faces more than 100 years in prison. (Source: UPI Photo / imago images)
Court refused extradition
In January a court in London rejected a US extradition request for Assange. The judge justified her decision with the mental state of the Australian and the strict prison conditions that would await him in a trial in the USA. There is a “considerable” risk that Assange would commit suicide while in US custody, she said. Because the US government appealed the verdict, Assange was not released for the time being.
In 2010 and 2011, the disclosure platform Wikileaks put hundreds of thousands of secret papers on the Internet, mainly on the Iraq war, which had been leaked to it by the former US soldier Chelsea Manning. The documents contained explosive information about US operations in the country, including the killing of civilians and the mistreatment of prisoners.
In April 2020, it became known that the Wikileaks founder secretly became a father twice during his asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy. Morris, the mother of the then two- and four-year-old boys, had previously worked as a lawyer for Assange.