WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been granted permission to get married by UK prison authorities, his fiancee announced Friday. The 50-year-old Australian national is in custody in Britain, pending a court decision on a request for his extradition from the United States.
Assange, who is wanted for the leaking of classified documents, is currently hoysed at Her Majesty's Belmarsh high-security jail in London.
He intends to marry Stella Moris, a former member of his legal team with whom he has two children.
Good news: UK government has backed down 24h before the deadline,” Moris posted on Twitter.
“Julian and I now have permission to marry in Belmarsh prison, she added.
“I am relieved but still angry that legal action was necessary to put a stop to the illegal interference with our basic right to marry,” Moris went on.
Assange was arrested in Britain in 2019 for jumping bail, after spending seven years inside Ecuador’s embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faced allegations of sexual assault. The charges were later dropped.
The US government has indicted him on 18 charges relating to the 2010 release of 500,000 secret documents regarding military campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq. If found guilty, Assange faces up to 175 years in jail.
UK district court judge Vanessa Baraitser ruled in January that it would be “oppressive” to extradite Assange because of his serious risk of suicide and mental health deterioration. The US is currently appealing the decision.