Ten things to know about Stella Assange, ex-lawyer and wife of WikiLeaks founder

His family against apartheid

Stella Morris grew up in South Africa in a family of anti-apartheid activists. She is 2 years old when her parents undergo an interrogation which aims to intimidate them. In the memory of this politicized childhood she draws the energy necessary for her fight today.

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The dirty business

In 2011, she joined Julian Assange’s defense team led by former Spanish anti-corruption judge Baltasar Garzón. The young Oxford graduate speaks the language of Strinberg: she is entrusted with the study of the scandal that has broken out in Sweden around the founder of WikiLeaks – accusations of rape and sexual assault. “It was absolutely obvious that the Swedish component had been instrumentalized from the start”she said to “Marie-Claire” last year, with regret that the case was dismissed in 2019, preventing communication from “evidence” which could have established the journalist’s innocence in the eyes of the public.

Julian Assange or the price to pay for “cypherpunk” journalism

loft story

From meeting to meeting at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London where Assange has found refuge and after four years of uninterrupted dialogue, the lawyer falls in love with her client and vice versa. Stella evokes a “romantic relationship”. And romantic, one would add: cameras monitored Julian Assange 24 hours a day within its four walls so the two lovers had to settle in a small tent.

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First child

Julian learns of his partner’s first pregnancy on a piece of paper that Stella discreetly gives him. For the birth of Gabriel, in May 2017, the father attended the birth remotely, by video. When the baby enters the embassy, ​​a friend of Stella’s accompanies her who claims to be the father of her child.

Pampersgate

In the fall of 2018, an embassy guard informed the lawyer that the American authorities wanted to steal a diaper. And why ? To verify by a DNA sample that the father is indeed Julian Assange.

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Cédric Villani: “It is time to recognize that Julian Assange is a political prisoner”

Revelation

In April 2020, a year after the journalist was taken manu militari to the high security prison of Belmarsh (London) and placed in solitary confinement, Stella Morris is asking for his release for health reasons linked to the pandemic. On this occasion, she is forced to publicly reveal the nature of their bond and the birth of two children – Max has been born in the meantime. “We’re going to see dad in the big house”, such is the story of a mother to her children so as not to frighten them too much.

Vivienne Westwood

Gabriel and Max were there for their parents’ funny wedding in “the big house”, on March 23rd. A small ceremony, four guests, two witnesses, and the supporters around Belmarsh prison, elegantly dressed for this big day. British designer Vivienne Westwood, very committed to the defense of Assange, created a kilt for the groom, in reference to his Scottish origins, and for Stella a silver dress with a long veil on which were embroidered the words free, relentless, valiant (“free, determined, valiant”)…

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A declaration of love and resilience

“This is not a prison wedding, this is a declaration of love and resilience despite prison walls, despite political persecution, despite arbitrary detention, despite the harm and harassment inflicted on Julian and our family “, wrote Stella Assange in an op-ed in the “Guardian”, the British daily which relays calls for his release.

Persecution

Stella Assange can rely on the conclusions of the UN special rapporteur on torture Nils Melzer who, after three years of investigation, concludes that there is a major injustice against the background of serious judicial irregularities on the part of the States United, Sweden and Great Britain. In a book, “The Trial of Julian Assange” (to be published in French at the start of the school year), he denounces a “persecution”.

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Around her

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Stella Assange is not alone. Support comes from all over the world. Various personalities such as Emir Kusturica (director, Serbia), Yanis Varoufakis (ex-Minister of Finance, Greece), Noam Chomsky (intellectual figure, USA), Ai Weiwei (dissident artist, China), Roger Waters (member of Pink Floyd, Great Britain) or Yolande Moreau (actress, Belgium); and for France, Denis Robert, Isabelle Alonso, Benoît Delépine, David Dufresne, the lawyer William Bourdon or the deputy Cédric Villani who took the head of a parliamentary group opposed to extradition. Support from organizations too, Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders, International Federation of Journalists, and of course from citizen groups: the Friends of the “Diplomatic World” or the audiovisual cooperative Les Mutins de Pangée, distributor since 2021 of documentaries “Hacking Justice” who traces this case.

Last minute : Stella Assange was ultimately unable to fly to France to join the annual gathering of whistleblowers on the Glières plateau. She then offered to participate in the debate by telephone and with the help of a translator.

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