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Trump urged to pardon Julian Assange by his partner and mother of two children: ‘Please bring him home for Christmas’

Whistleblower held in UK custody since April 2019

Andrew Buncombe
Thursday 26 November 2020 21:04 GMT
Julian Assange as 3D hologram
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The partner of detained activist and whistleblower Julian Assange has called on Donald Trump to pardon him so that he can return home for Christmas, and see his two children.

In an appeal to the president a day after Mr Trump announced he was pardoning disgraced former national security advisor Michael Flynn, Stella Morris posted a picture of their young children.

“These are Julian’s sons Max and Gabriel. They need their father. Our family needs to be whole again,” she wrote.

“I beg you, please bring him home for Christmas.”

She tagged the message @RealDonald Trump and added the hashtag #PardonAssange

Mr Assange, 49, remains held in a high-security British prison cell as he awaits a judge's decision about whether he can be sent to the US to face espionage charges.

Ms Morris has said he has been confined exclusively to his cell for over a week because of a coronavirus outbreak on his block at London’s Belmarsh Prison.

Mr Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, attended four weeks of an extradition hearing at the Central Criminal Court in London in September and October. The judge overseeing the case said she would deliver her decision on 4 January.

US prosecutors have indicted Mr Assange on 17 espionage charges and one charge of computer misuse over WikiLeaks’ publication of secret American military documents a decade ago. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 175 years in prison.

Mr Assange’s defence team argues that he is a journalist and entitled to First Amendment protections for publishing leaked documents that exposed US military wrongdoing in Iraq and Afghanistan. They have also said the conditions he would face in a US prison would breach his human rights.

Mr Assange jumped bail in 2012 and sought asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, which ended up becoming his home for seven years before he was evicted and subsequently arrested. He has been in a London prison since April 2019.

Last week, Mr Morris said: is partner Stella Morris, the mother of their two young children, said: “Keeping Julian in the UK's harshest prison, exposed to a deadly virus and away from his family is not only cruel, it offends British values and democracy itself.

Additional reporting by Associated Press

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