In an unprecedented move, a British parliamentary working group comprising several MPs from various parties handed a letter to the governor of South London Belmarsh prison, where Julian Assange, Wikileaks founder, investigative journalist, and political prisoner, is still unjustly imprisoned.
This Tuesday, UK Members of Parliament (MPs) Richard Burgon, Hackney Abbott, and Jeremy Corbyn visited South London HMP Belmarsh to deliver a letter from Parliamentarians from 4 parties protesting the repeated refusal by the authorities to allow MPs to meet with Julian Assange.
Mr. Assange remains locked up at the Covid-hit south London prison pending an appeal after he beat an extradition case brought by the US. But the journalist continues to face up to 175 years in jail if convicted of espionage in a US court, after revealing the country’s war crimes.
The investigative journalist and founder of Wikileaks has already spent two years in jail since he was removed from the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2019 and has had bail requests denied three times.
On June 20, Mr. Assange’s fiancee Stella Moris was able to visit him, along with their two young sons, for the first time in eight months.
Mr. Burgon, who coordinated the cross-party letter, said: “Julian Assange’s case has huge implications for press freedom in the UK and for the US-UK extradition treaty. It’s in the public interest that British parliamentarians are able to discuss these issues with Julian Assange. That the authorities have repeatedly stopped an online meeting going ahead speaks volumes.
“The Justice Secretary [Robert Buckland] and prison governor [Rob Davis] must now put a stop to their intransigence and allow it to go ahead without further delay.”