London.- The Australian Julian Assange and his fiancée, South African lawyer Stella Moris, were married on Wednesday in a high-security prison. british where the founder of WikiLeaks is being held since his arrest in 2019 at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
“I don’t know what to say, I’m very happy, I’m very sad, I love you Julian with all my heart and I wish you were here,” Moris said with tears in his eyes as he left Belmarsh jail, south of the capital.
Dozens of supporters were waiting with confetti at her gates, where this young lawyer who joined the Assange defense in 2011 cut a wedding cake.
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The veil of her silver-gray dress, designed by the British Vivienne Westwood, who has supported Assange’s cause for years, had embroidered words such as “free”, “tumultuous”, “noble”.
The 80-year-old legendary punk creator also designed a kilt for the groom, in a nod to her Scottish ancestors.
Assange, 50, fights not to be extradited to the United States, which wants to judge him for the WikiLeaks publication from 2010 of hundreds of thousands of secret documents, which revealed abuses committed by the US military in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Last week, the British Supreme Court denied him the possibility of appealing his delivery, on which the British Minister of the Interior, Priti Patel, now has the last word.
Assange and Moris secretly had two children during the almost seven years that the Australian lived as a refugee in the Ecuadorian legation in London, where he was arrested in April 2019 when President Lenín Moreno withdrew the protection that his predecessor Rafael had given him in 2012. Belt.
On Wednesday, the two little ones arrived at the jail accompanying their mother, also dressed in Scottish costumes.
“Battle for Press Freedom”
An official from the civil registry made the link, which could only be attended by four guests and two witnesses.
Moris denounced that the prison authorities rejected the proposed witnesses -who are journalists- and the photographer -who also works for the press-, despite the fact that they were going to attend “in a private capacity.”
“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 in an article published by The Guardian, comparing this “logic of making a person disappear hoping that be forgotten” with “what Soviet Russia was doing”.
But the supporters who flocked to the gates of Belmarsh were not about to forget.
“A wedding should be a celebration but it really isn’t in this case,” Maureen Lambert, a 76-year-old Londoner, told AFP, surrounded by banners reading “Journalism is not a crime.”
Assange has become a thorn in the side of press freedom advocates, who accuse Washington of trying to suppress relevant security information. But the US authorities say that he is not a journalist but a hacker and endangered the lives of informants by publishing the full, unedited documents.
“We honor him for his courage and integrity, but the battle for Julian’s freedom has always been much more than the persecution of a publisher,” Pulitzer Prize-winning American journalist Chris Hedges said among the protesters.
“This is the most important battle of our time for press freedom and if we lose it it will be devastating not only for Julian and his family but for us.”
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. And at first he managed to get the British justice to agree with him, preventing extradition.
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But the US executive appealed and convinced the judges that he would be held in good conditions, with adequate psychological treatment, and obtained the go-ahead for his surrender.
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