Julian Assange given permission to marry in prison
Julian Assange has been given permission to marry his partner while in prison in the U.K., The Associated Press reported on Friday.
Lawyer Stella Moris has two children with the WikiLeaks founder, whom the couple previously said were conceived while he was taking refuge at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, avoiding extradition.
Assange and Moris originally applied for permission to marry in April 2020 but their petition was denied, per the AP.
“I am relieved that reason prevailed, and I hope there will be no further interference with our marriage,” Moris said in a tweet.
Good news: UK government has backed down 24h before the deadline.
Julian and I now have permission to marry in Belmarsh prison.
— Stella Moris #FreeAssangeNOW (@StellaMoris1) November 11, 2021
The prison governor said they “received, considered and processed [the couple’s application] in the usual way,” and that Assange’s request was treated just like “any other prisoner,” The Washington Post reports.
The couple, who met in 2011, went public with the news of their children in a YouTube video where Moris shared details about their relationship and family. She said the couple met for the first time at the Frontline Club in London, when she was interviewing to be a part of his legal team.
Moris added that “forming a family was a deliberate decision to break down those walls around him and imagine a life beyond that prison.”
“While for many people it would seem insane to start a family in that context, for us it was the sane thing to do, to keep things real. It grounds me, and when Julian sees the children, it gives him a lot of peace and nurture and support. They are very happy children,” she elaborated.
A judge refused a U.S. request to extradite Assange in January, but said he should remain in prison while a higher court considers Washington’s appeal because he was a “significant flight risk.”
Assange was indicted on multiple counts of espionage and other charges after publishing classified American military and intelligence documents years ago.