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Source: MIL-OSI Submissions

Source: A4A

Millions worldwide have already said “I do” when asked if they support press freedom. Now two people at the centre of the century’s biggest press freedom case have taken their own chance to say the same.

Wikileaks editor Julian Assange has wed overnight Stella Morris, the mother of his two children, inside the UK’s notoriously harsh Belmarsh prison. Assange is detained there ‘arbitrarily’ according to a UN working group, for publishing secret document revealing evidence of US war crimes in Iraq and torture in Guantanamo Bay. The couple had to sue the UK Government to assert their legal right to marry.

Prison authorities denied the couple the right to a photographer claiming a “security risk”. Stella Moris told the Guardian “The prison states that our wedding picture is a security risk because it could end up in social media or the press,” she writes. “How absurd. What kind of security threat could a wedding picture pose?”

“I am convinced that they fear that people will see Julian as a human being”.

A4A’s National Coordinator Matt Ó Branáin said the UK decision represented more of an “impunity risk” in relation to the persecution which is widely condemned by press freedoms and global journalism groups around the world.

Belmarsh prison authorities refused to allow guests that included former UK ambassador Craig Murray, himself jailed, in Scotland, on the basis they were “journalists” and likely to report the event.

Belmarsh’s decision also contrasts with an earlier approval for a UK documentary on Tommy Robinson while imprisoned.

Despite the continued persecution of the Assange couple, and supporters worldwide are joining wedding celebrations, including in Auckland.

A4A and Paddock Radio is hosting a Love & Freedom Karaoke night at the Love Shack Bar on Karangahape Road.

Former British Ambassador Craig Murray tweeted: ‘The defiant wedding of Julian and Stella today, in the face of a possible 175 years in a US jail for publishing the facts of US war crimes, is a triumph for love, a triumph for hope and a triumph for truth.

Let us celebrate!!’

Stella Moris said to a supportive crowd outside the prison, “I’m very happy, I’m very sad. I love Julian with all my heart, and I wish he were here. You know what we are going through is cruel and inhuman. The love that we have for each other carries us through this situation and any other that will come. He should be free.”

Matt Ó Branáin
National Coordinator