Julian Assange’s Wedding Day and Status

Source: Neenah Payne

The New York Times article Julian Assange Marries Stella Moris in a British Prison reported on March 23:

“The wedding took place at Belmarsh Prison, where Mr. Assange has been held since 2019. Supporters of the couple were encouraged to attend a ‘solidarity vigil’ outside the facility. Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder who is fighting extradition to the United States on espionage charges, married Stella Moris, his longtime partner with whom he has two young children, on Wednesday in a prison in London.

The ceremony was held at Belmarsh Prison, a high-security men’s facility in southeast London, where Mr. Assange has been held since 2019. WikiLeaks published footage on Twitter of Ms. Moris briefly addressing journalists and supporters who gathered outside the prison, where she cut into a tiered wedding cake after the private ceremony. She wore a flowing veil with words inscribed on it that included: ‘relentless,’ ‘valiant’ and ‘free enduring love.’ ‘I’m very happy and very sad,’ Ms. Moris said. ‘I love Julian with all my heart, and I wish he were here.’”

The article adds:

“In an essay in The Guardian that was published on Wednesday, Ms. Moris wrote that every aspect of the private ceremony was being intensely policed, from the couple’s wedding photo to the guest list. ‘This is not a prison wedding, it is a declaration of love and resilience in spite of the prison walls, in spite of the political persecution, in spite of the arbitrary detention, in spite of the harm and harassment inflicted on Julian and our family,’ Ms. Moris wrote. ‘Their torment only makes our love grow stronger.’

Last November, Ms. Moris announced that she and Mr. Assange would be allowed to wed just days after she had taken legal action against the British government for blocking the couple’s repeated requests to marry. The fashion designer Vivienne Westwood designed a tartan kilt for Mr. Assange to wear and a full-length wedding dress for Ms. Moris, the publication said…

In a video posted to the WikiLeaks YouTube channel in 2020, Ms. Moris said they intentionally chose to start a family despite the circumstances.

Behind the scenes of Julian Assange’s maximum-security wedding | 60 Minutes Australia

“Like for all brides, Stella Moris’ wedding was unforgettable. But it was a wedding/ceremony like no other. Her husband is Australian Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, which meant the happy couple swapped vows in England’s toughest maximum-security jail, Belmarsh Prison. As their two infant sons watched on, Stella and Julian promised to try to lead as normal a life as possible – a bittersweet commitment given the groom is facing extradition to the US, and the prospect of 175 more years in jail if convicted of espionage.”

Stella Morris, the South African lawyer and legal researcher, joined WikiLeaks in 2011 after its release of documents about Iraq. Stella said she felt fortunate to meet the person who had changed the world with WikiLeaks. Because her family spent time in Sweden, Moris became a Swedish national. So, she is fluent in Swedish and helped litigate Assange’s case in Sweden which was rescinded in 2019. Stella is also fluent in Spanish and facilitated Assange’s seeking asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in 2012.

By 2015, Assange and Stella were in love and by 2017, they were engaged. They planned to get married, but he was arrested before that happened. Assange (49) and Stella (38) have two sons: Gabriel (4.5 years) and Max (3 years).

They kept their love affair secret to avoid having Stella and their sons targeted. However, last year, Stella went public to plead for Assange to be released under government plans to free thousands of prisoners to quell the spread of the virus behind bars.

Stella explained that Assange is doubly vulnerable in the Belmarsh prison because he suffers from a chronic lung condition exacerbated by his years inside the embassy and mental health issues due to extreme isolation. She is worried that he cannot survive further forced isolation. Assange has been in the prison for three years now.

Dental issues that needed to be addressed while Assange was in the embassy have gone unresolved. Assange is in a dark room 23.5 hours a day. During the COVID restrictions, his fiancée and sons were not able visit him. Assange’s right to a family life with Stella and their two British-born sons will play a part in WikiLeaks’ legal bid to keep him in the UK.

Stella lives in London with her extended family and is being supported by Assange’s mother, Christine Assange, and his father John Shipton. They are both delighted by their new grandchildren. Stella said she is anxious because Assange is unable to see his legal team or prepare for his extradition hearing. She  said, “For a long time, I have feared I will lose Julian to suicide if there is no way in which he can stop his extradition to the US. He doesn’t have a voice at present, but I do. That’s why I am using it.”

The 6/21/20 video Julian Assange’s hidden family revealed: top secrets inside the Embassy | 60 Minutes Australia  says until COVID hit, Stella took her sons to see their father in prison. During much of the COVID restrictions, their only contact was over the phone.

Hero or Villain: The Prosecution of Julian Assange 7/29/19

“Julian Assange is one of the most influential figures to emerge this century. The Australian born founder of WikiLeaks has harnessed the technology of the digital age to unleash an information war against governments and corporations. WikiLeaks has collaborated with anonymous sources to release highly classified and often deeply embarrassing information to the world.

The organisation exploded onto the world stage in 2010 when it began publishing a series of spectacular leaks laying bare the conduct of the United States … The leaks sparked ferocious debate over the right to know and the right to keep secrets.

Now Julian Assange is in the fight of his life. In April this year he was dragged… from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, nearly seven years after seeking diplomatic protection. He is facing extradition to the United States on espionage charges stemming from the spectacular 2010 leaks by Private Chelsea Manning…..

Four Corners investigates the prosecution of Julian Assange in key interviews with those at the heart of WikiLeaks and those who have sought to bring him to US justice. These insider accounts give powerful insights into how these momentous events have unfolded.”

The United States vs Julian Assange 

“In the 2016 race to the White House, presidential candidate Donald Trump took a shine to the whistleblowing site WikiLeaks…. Trump revelled in the damage inflicted upon his opponent, Hillary Clinton, by a series of sensational leaks published by the site. Now, as President, Donald Trump has performed a spectacular flip, presiding over an administration determined to imprison the publisher of the leaks. In Part Two of its investigation into Julian Assange, Four Corners looks at Assange’s activities conducted during the nearly seven years he spent sheltering in the Ecuadorian Embassy.”

The Plot to Kill Julian Assange: Report Reveals CIA’s Plan to Kidnap, Assassinate WikiLeaks Founder

“Did the CIA under the Trump administration plan to kidnap and assassinate WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange during a shootout in London? That is one of the explosive findings in a new exposé by Yahoo News….. More than 30 former officials say former CIA Director Mike Pompeo was apparently motivated to get even with WikiLeaks following its publication of sensitive CIA hacking tools, which the agency considered ‘the largest data loss in CIA history.’

Michael Isikoff, chief investigative correspondent for Yahoo News, lays out the plans and describes how the abduction plan ‘was one of the most contentious intelligence debates of the entire Trump era,’ noting it ultimately spurred the Justice Department to fast-track its legal case against Assange. We also speak with Assange’s legal adviser Jennifer Robinson who says the latest revelations should alarm American citizens as well as journalists around the world.

‘This is the CIA talking about conspiracy to kidnap and murder an Australian citizen and an award-winning journalist and editor who has done nothing but publish truthful information.’”

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