Wikileaks co-founder Julian Assange has been given permission to marry his long term partner Stella Moris in jail.
Last month lawyers for the United States began their appeal against the ban on his extradition to America, where he is accused of violating the Espionage Act, after he received top secret data (from Chelsea Manning) and unlawfully published the names of classified sources back in 2010 and 2011.
Assange has been prison since police entered the Ecuadorian Embassy in April 2019 and dragged him out, after a seven year stalemate.
Assange was then found guilty in Southwark Crown Court of breaching the Bail Act, and was sentenced to 50 weeks in jail, at Belmarsh prison in London.
However he has been kept in Belmarsh while the US extradition case proceeds.
Now this week the Guardian newspaper has reported that Assange was granted permission to marry his partner Stella Moris after applying to the prison governor.
“Mr Assange’s application was received, considered and processed in the usual way by the prison governor, as for any other prisoner,” a Prison Service spokesperson was quoted as saying.
The couple have two children together. Gabriel, aged four, and Max, two.
No date has been set for the wedding.
The couple have been engaged for a number of years and have been trying to get married despite the legal action.
“I am relieved that reason prevailed and I hope there will be no further interference with our marriage,” Moris told the PA news agency.
Prisoners are entitled to apply to be married in prison under the Marriages Act 1983. Governors then consider applications and, if granted, the cost of the service is picked up by the prisoner rather than the taxpayer, the Guardian noted.
Assange and Moris had reportedly been taking legal action against the prison governor and the justice secretary, Dominic Raab, accusing them of preventing a wedding being held.
Supporters and doctors have long campaigned for the release of Julian Assange on medical grounds.
In February 2020, 117 doctors from 18 nations penned an open letter to the medical journal ‘The Lancet’, in which they called for an end to what they described as “the psychological torture and medical neglect of Julian Assange”.
In November 2019, the Doctors for Assange group also expressed their concern for his welfare, saying he was so ill he could die.
They called for Assange to moved from Belmarsh high security prison to a university teaching hospital.
Supporter and former Baywatch star Pamela Anderson also in 2019 warned that the health of Assange was causing concern. She said that said that his life “was at risk” and he is “unhealthy” in captivity.