Pamela Anderson has urged more people to support WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after visiting him in a London prison where he is awaiting a hearing on a US extradition request.
“He’s an innocent person … He’s a good man. He’s an incredible person. I love him,” Anderson told reporters after she and WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson met Assange at Belmarsh prison on Tuesday local time.
The US government has accused Australian citizen Assange, 47, of conspiring with former US military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to leak a trove of classified material in 2010.
He has been held at the prison since police dragged him from the Ecuadorian embassy in London on April 11. He had spent seven years inside the embassy to avoid arrest.
The Townsville-born Assange has since been sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for a bail violation.
He is fighting extradition to the United States, where he is wanted for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks.
In a brief court appearance via video from the prison last week, Assange confirmed that he opposes his extradition.
The case is expected to take up to one year to resolve.
“It’s going to be a long fight … and he needs our support. He needs all the support he can get,” said Anderson, 51, who befriended Assange during visits to the embassy.
“He’s sacrificed so much to bring the truth out,” she said, adding that she felt “sick” after meeting Assange in prison.
Pamela Anderson admits to feeling 'sick, nauseous' after visiting Julian Assange at HM Prison Belmarsh. pic.twitter.com/91W8F3SPTx
— RT UK (@RTUKnews) May 7, 2019
Mr Hrafnsson also said it was “shocking to see my friend – an intellectual, a journalist … sitting in a high-security prison”.
He said Assange had lost weight but “his spirit is strong”.
“Julian Assange is bent but not broken. He is an extraordinarily resilient person,” Mr Hrafnsson added.
“He knows that he has done nothing wrong.”
The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said in a statement on Friday it was “deeply concerned” about the “disproportionate” sentence imposed on Assange.
“The Working Group is of the view that violating bail is a minor violation that, in the United Kingdom, carries a maximum sentence of 12 months in prison, the statement read.
“It is worth recalling that the detention and the subsequent bail of Mr Assange in the UK were connected to preliminary investigations initiated in 2010 by a prosecutor in Sweden.
“It is equally worth noting that that prosecutor did not press any charges against Mr Assange and that in 2017, after interviewing him in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, she discontinued investigations and brought an end to the case.
“The Working Group is further concerned that Mr Assange has been detained since 11 April 2019 in Belmarsh prison, a high-security prison, as if he were convicted for a serious criminal offence.
“This treatment appears to contravene the principles of necessity and proportionality envisaged by the human rights standards.”
The Working Group has previously stated that Assange was arbitrarily detained in the Ecuadorian embassy and should have had his liberty restored.