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Julian Assange to marry in prison

Just four guests and two witnesses will be allowed to attend the ceremony, as well as two security guards.

23 March 2022

Supporters of Julian Assange will gather outside a prison on Wednesday to celebrate the wedding of the WikiLeaks founder to his fiancee.

The ceremony will take place in Belmarsh prison in London, just weeks before the third anniversary of his dramatic arrest when he was dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy in the capital.

Assange has been held in the high-security jail ever since as he fights extradition to the United States, where he is wanted over an alleged conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defence information following WikiLeaks’ publication of hundreds of thousands of leaked documents relating to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

His fiancee Stella Moris has spoken of her joy at being allowed to marry the WikiLeaks founder despite restrictions being placed on their wedding.

Assange has always denied wrongdoing and has won support for his case from human rights organisations and journalist groups across the world.

Ms Moris told the PA news agency that just four guests and two witnesses will be allowed to attend the ceremony, as well as two security guards.

Dame Vivienne Westwood is designing Ms Moris’s wedding dress and a kilt for Assange, whose parents are of Scottish extraction.

The guests will have to leave immediately after the event, even though it is being held during normal visiting hours.

Ms Moris told PA: “Obviously we are very excited, even though the circumstances are very restrictive.

“All the guests and witnesses must leave as soon as the ceremony is over, even though that will be before normal visiting time ends.

“Julian is looking forward to the wedding because it is finally happening, many months after we first made the request.”

Stella Moris
Stella Moris (Kirsty O’Connor/PA)

A Prison Service spokesperson said: “All weddings in prisons must meet the requirements outlined in the Prison Service policy.”

The service said photography for weddings in prisons is facilitated by prison staff, in line with “established national policy on photographing prisoners”, adding: “The relevant policy makes clear the governor can block images being taken if it is believed they will be shared publicly, which can compromise prison security. Accordingly, photos will be taken by prison staff.”

The cost of the ceremony will be picked up by the couple, who have two young children.

Supporters have been asked to dress as if they were attending a wedding.

Instead of sending gifts, it was suggested they donate to the new official Crowdfunder campaign, sponsor a park bench or similar in their area, and put up posters calling for Assange to be freed.

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