WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has married his long-term partner, lawyer Stella Moris, inside a high-security prison.
Ms Moris, who has two children with the 50-year-old Australian, cut a wedding cake and celebrated alongside family and supporters outside London’s Belmarsh prison.
“I am very happy and very sad. I love Julian with all my heart and I wish he were here,” Ms Moris said outside the prison gates on Thursday morning (Australian time).
“You know what we are going through is cruel and inhuman.
“The love that we have for each other carries us through this situation and any other that will come. He is the most amazing person in the world. He is wonderful and he should be free.”
Her new husband, one of the world’s most famous whistleblowers, was not allowed out of the jail nor was anyone allowed to take photographs of the nuptials – a move Ms Moris claims was designed to avoid the public seeing the prisoner as “human”.
“The prison states that our wedding picture is a security risk because it could end up in social media or the press,” Ms Moris wrote in a piece published by The Guardian on the morning of the wedding.
“How absurd. What kind of security threat could a wedding picture pose?”
Mr Assange is in HM Prison Belmarsh waiting to find out whether American authorities can extradite him to face 18 charges relating to the release of troves of military records.
WikiLeaks data dumps included evidence of possible war crimes by the US.
According to rights groups, Mr Assange’s possible extradition and sentencing in the US would be a serious threat to free-speech and to the work of investigative journalists who expose government wrongdoing.
Ms Moris – who first met Mr Assange when she worked on his legal team in 2011 – used her wedding gown to make a political statement.
She wore a lilac satin dress created by celebrated British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood, who has campaigned against Mr Assange’s extradition.
The bridal dress featured an inscription of a personal message from Westwood and the long veil was embroidered with words such as “valiant”, “relentless” and “free enduring love”.
“To me, Julian is a pure soul and a freedom fighter,” Westwood said.
The groom wore a kilt, a nod to his Scottish ancestors, as did his brother – film producer Gabriel Shipton – who accompanied Ms Moris outside the jail.
Mr Assange has been in the southeast London jail since 2019, and before that was holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in the British capital for seven years.
In 2015, while living at the embassy, he began a relationship with Ms Moris. The couple has two children.
Mr Assange suffered a blow earlier this month when he was denied permission to launch an appeal at the UK’s Supreme Court against a decision to extradite him.
However, he could still challenge the government’s ratification of the extradition.