You turn to us for voices you won't hear anywhere else.

Sign up for Democracy Now!'s Daily Digest to get our latest headlines and stories delivered to your inbox every day.

Julian Assange’s Fiancée: U.K. Blocking Our Attempt to Marry While He Is Tortured in Belmarsh Prison

StoryNovember 09, 2021
Watch Full Show
Media Options

Stella Moris, partner of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, says British authorities have so far blocked attempts for her and Assange to marry while he is being held in Belmarsh prison. Supporters have also raised concerns Assange has become suicidal. “They are killing him. If he dies, it is because they are killing him,” Moris says. “They are torturing him to death.”

Related Story

StoryDec 02, 2010U.N. Special Rapporteur Juan Méndez: Instead of Focusing on Assange, U.S. Should Address WikiLeaks’ Disclosures of Torture
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Stella Moris, on Sunday, you tweeted, “Julian and I are trying to get married, but what should be a straightforward process and a sacred right is being illegally interfered with by sinister elements of the state. Blocking us from exercising our basic right to a family life is harassment. It’s illegal, and it’s wrong,” you wrote. Can you explain — you’re also an attorney — how and why you’ve been prevented from getting married to Julian? You’re also the mother of two of your and Julian’s children.

STELLA MORIS: Well, it’s a good question. Why is the U.K. standing in the way of our getting married? This is, you know, our decision. It’s no one else’s business but ours. And even this little thing is being interfered with.

I approached the prison in May, asking what steps I had to take. I got an initial response, but nothing after that. And then Julian put in a formal request a month ago to the prison, asking for the prison to — governor to authorize Belmarsh as a venue for the marriage, and received no response. We booked the council registrar to come in to receive our notice that we were getting married, and the prison didn’t give us any response until just the afternoon before the registrar was due to come in, saying that they had referred the matter to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Now, the Crown Prosecution Service represents the United States in the extradition case, so, essentially, the U.S. is being given a veto in relation to whether we can get married. This is completely outrageous, and so we’re suing the U.K. government.

AMY GOODMAN: And how is Julian emotionally, psychologically? You’re one of the few people who gets to see him. Can you talk about what those meetings are like, where you meet him in this maximum-security prison at Belmarsh?

STELLA MORIS: Well, we meet in a really big visitors’ hall, where the other prisoners are also meeting their family. At the moment, it’s only immediate family who can see him. I see him regularly, every week. And he’s — you know, he’s really struggling. He’s extremely thin. And it’s really taking a toll on him. And every day is a struggle, you can just imagine. There’s no end in sight. This can go on for years, potentially, or it could also finish quickly, and he could be extradited to the U.S. before the summer. So there’s such uncertainty, and it is so outrageous that he is not free.

AMY GOODMAN: The judge cited suicide possibility. I hate to ask you that question.

STELLA MORIS: Well, the reason the U.K. blocked this extradition is under grounds of oppression. So it would be oppressive to extradite him. Extraditing him would be tantamount to sending him to his death. And that’s because they’re driving him to take his life, because he has endured what no person has had — should have to endure. And the U.N. special rapporteur on torture has said that he is being psychologically tortured. His physical health is seriously deteriorated. And they are killing him. If he dies, it’s because they are killing him. They are torturing him to death.

AMY GOODMAN: Stella Moris, I want to thank you so much for being with us, the partner of the imprisoned WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, in Glasgow as part of her campaign to free Julian and to show how WikiLeaks revealed evidence of corporations and states undermining the goals of prior climate summits.

That does it for our show. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González. Stay safe.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Up Next

U.N. Special Rapporteur Juan Méndez: Instead of Focusing on Assange, U.S. Should Address WikiLeaks’ Disclosures of Torture

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation