WikiLeaks founder married in prison
Julian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, married his fiancé Stella Moris in Belmarsh prison, southeast London, today.
“We are very excited, even though the circumstances are very limited,” said Moris. “All guests and witnesses must leave as soon as the wedding ceremony is over.”
Only 4 guests are allowed to attend the wedding. In addition, two officers and two prison guards will also be present at the special ceremony.
“Julian was really looking forward to the wedding because it finally happened, months after we made our request to get married in prison,” Moris added.
Moris met Assange in 2011, when he was 28 and working as a lawyer, and Assange was 40 and took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. Assange and Moris have two sons, Gabriel and Max, both of whom are British nationals.
Their marriage came after the WikiLeaks founder’s application to hold weddings in prison was approved by British authorities late last year. According to British media, the two have been engaged for many years and have tried many times to register their marriage despite many legal obstacles.
Assange’s supporters plan to hold a gathering outside prison today to celebrate the wedding. Assange and Moris have asked supporters to dress as if they were attending another “casual” wedding. They also asked supporters to raise money for the groom’s release, rather than giving wedding gifts.
WikiLeaks in 2010 caused a global uproar when it released thousands of classified Pentagon documents about US military activities in Iraq and Afghanistan. In the same year, WikiLeaks released more than 250,000 State Department documents containing sensitive reviews of foreign governments and politicians.
US prosecutors and Western security officials regard Assange as a “reckless and dangerous enemy of the state”, arguing that his actions threatened the life of the agent named in the leaked documents.
However, Assange’s supporters see the WikiLeaks founder as a US victim for exposing his wrongdoing during the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Assange, 51, has been hiding in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for five years, avoiding extradition to Sweden on sexual assault charges. Assange believes these allegations are a cover for authorities to extradite him to the US to stand trial over WikiLeaks’ controversial activities.
He struck a diplomatic deal with Ecuador and arrested Assange in 2019, jailed in Belmarsh prison for 12 months on charges of evading bail. He continues to be held here after Washington’s legal intervention.
Last December, Britain’s High Court allowed Assange to be extradited to the US to stand trial for violating government hacking and anti-spying laws. Moris announced that he would appeal the decision as soon as possible.
Huyen Le (Based on Sputnik)
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