On Wednesday, WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange and his fiancée Stella Moris married in a small ceremony attended by six guests at the Belmarsh high-security prison in London. Julian Assange continues to battle against his impending extradition to the US.
Four guests and two witnesses were allowed to attend the ceremony, but no journalists or photographer.
The 38-year-old lawyer Moris arrived in prison wearing a striking silver dress designed by Vivienne Westwood —a supporter of the Australian activist’s cause— and a long veil with embroidered protest words.
She was only accompanied by her mother, brother-in-law, father-in-law, and two sons of two and four years old due to the restrictions on the number of attendees imposed by the prison management.
Last week the UK’s Supreme Court turned down an appeal request, all but consigning Assange to a trial in America over his explosive journalism that blew open alleged US crimes. The decision now comes down to UK Home Sec. Priti Patel.
The children, who were born when the Australian activist was a refugee in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, attended the ceremony wearing Scottish skirts to honor the origins of their family on their father’s side.
Outside the jail, Assange’s supporters gathered to show their support to the couple and celebrate the day with champagne and cake. “Assange is the most incredible person I know. What we are going through is inhuman, but our love will sustain us,” Morris said in tears.
Julian Assange and Stella Morris tie the knot at Belmarsh pic.twitter.com/ReDSiD06Qa
— Barnaby Nerberka (@barnabynerberka) March 23, 2022
The United States accuses the Australian activist of 18 espionage charges over WikiLeaks’s publication of the American military wrongdoing in the Iraq y Afghanistan wars. On March 14, the British Supreme Court denied permission for their lawyers to appeal the London High Court decision to extradite him to that country.
Selection of pictures of Julian Assange's bride Stella Moris from todays #AssangeWedding. No pictures of Julian Assange from today are available as prison authorities deemed images of the groom a 'security risk'
Assange faces a 175 year sentence for publishing truthful documents pic.twitter.com/WAafRTsEM9
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) March 23, 2022
However, their lawyers still have the right to present their arguments before British Interior Minister Priti Patel before she rules on his extradition within three weeks. If Assange is finally extradited, he could face up to 175 years in prison.
Our right to marry: Stella Moris
Stella Moris wrote a letter to newspaper The Guardian announcing the wedding and her declaration towards Julian Assange. The full letter can be find on The Guardian website. Excerpt of the letter is here.
Today is my wedding day. I will marry the love of my life. My husband to be is the father of our two sons, he is a wonderful man, intelligent and funny, he has a deep-seated sense of right and wrong and he is known the world over for his work as a courageous publisher. At lunchtime today, I will go through the gates at the most oppressive high security prison in the country and be married to a political prisoner, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
Of course, this is not the wedding we should be having. Julian has spent nearly three years unjustly detained on behalf of the foreign power that plotted to kill him in the streets of London.
Today will be a private moment in which we will affirm our love for each other. The dress is designed by Julian’s friends, Dame Vivienne Westwood and Andreas Kronthaler. I am honoured to be wearing their beautiful creation. It is a symbol of our love and defiance in the face of this cruel situation.
This is not a prison wedding, it is a declaration of love and resilience in spite of the prison walls, in spite of the political persecution, in spite of the arbitrary detention, in spite of the harm and harassment inflicted on Julian and our family. Their torment only makes our love grow stronger.
Every part of this private event is being intensely policed, from our guest list to the wedding picture.