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Julian Assange allowed to marry partner Stella Moris in Belmarsh prison—Independent, Nov. 12, 2021

‘I am relieved that reason prevailed and I hope there will be no further interference with our marriage’, Assange said

Stuti Mishra

Incarcerated WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been granted permission to marry his partner Stella Moris at Belmarsh prison, a month after they applied to do so.

The couple received permission to marry inside the high-security prison where Mr Assange has been lodged since 2019 after the US took legal action to extradite him.

“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 by the Associated Press on Thursday.

“I am relieved that reason prevailed and I hope there will be no further interference with our marriage,” Ms Moris told the PA news agency.

Earlier, Ms Moris had said that they’d been blocked from getting married and were preparing legal action against Dominic Raab and the Belmarsh prison governor.

Ms Moris is a South Africa-born lawyer, who met the WikiLeaks founder in 2011 while she was on his legal team. She has been in a relationship with him since 2015 and has been fighting for him to be released on bail.

The couple has two sons — four-year-old Gabriel and two-year-old Max. Both of them are British citizens.

They have been engaged and trying to get married for a long time, despite Mr Assange’s ongoing legal battle. Prisoners in the UK are allowed to get married under the 1983 Marriages Act subject to the approval of the prison governor.

Their wedding can only take place inside the prison and the couple will have to take up the expenses incurred on their own. Mr Assange and Ms Moris have not fixed a wedding date yet.

Mr Assange has continued to fight a long-drawn legal battle to avoid extradition to the US, where he could be questioned over the activities of WikiLeaks.

He is facing charges of espionage over his role in obtaining and disclosing national defence information following WikiLeaks’s publication of thousands of crucial documents relating to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

The leaked documents included footage from April 2010 that showed US soldiers shooting and killing civilians from a helicopter in Iraq.

The Australian citizen had sought asylum at an Ecuadorian embassy in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden and was later arrested for breaching his bail conditions.