LONDON (Bywire News) - At a time when the West is rightly condemning Russia for holding political prisoners, the case of Julian Assange continues to undermine international credibility. The 50-year-old founder of WikiLeaks is set to marry his long-term partner Stella Moris in a high-security prison in London on Wednesday, but his future remains uncertain with the court of appeal refusing to hear a case against his extradition.
The US is keen for Assange to stand trial on 18 counts relating to WikiLeaks’ release of confidential military records and diplomatic cables. The leaks revealed evidence of war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.
So far nobody has been held accountable for these crimes. The only person the US seems interested in prosecuting is the man who revealed them to the public. His case has been taken up by campaign groups including Amnesty International; Reporters Without Borders; Human Rights Watch, and the International Federation of Journalists. They see this as an attack on journalism, democracy and the ability to hold power to account.
Assange is waiting on a decision by Home Secretary Priti Patel about his deportation after he was denied permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. She is widely expected to approve the deportation but his lawyers may still challenge her decision with a judicial review.
Assange, for his part, continues to deny any wrongdoing. He has been held at Belmarsh Prison since 2019 and before that was holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for seven years. During that time, he fathered two children with Moris who he met in 2011 when she started work on his legal team.
The registrar-led ceremony will take place during visiting hours at the prison and will include a small collection of guests. Moris’ wedding dress and Assange’s kilt have been created by Vivienne Westwood who has campaigned against his extradition.
(Writing by Tom Cropper, editing by Klaudia Fior)