Former British diplomat Craig Murray, a journalist and a photographer have been told they cannot attend Julian Assange’s wedding in Belmarsh Prison today.
By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News
Craig Murray, the former British ambassador and close friend of Julian Assange, as well as a photographer and a journalist have been barred from attending Assange’s wedding today at Belmarsh Prison, according to Assange’s fiancee Stella Moris.
I have the huge honour of being invited by Julian and Stella as one of the six people allowed to attend their wonderful wedding in Belmarsh prison today.
But Julian has now been told I will not be allowed in as my presence would "endanger the security of the prison"!!!#Assange
— Craig Murray – (@CraigMurrayOrg) March 23, 2022
Murray went on to tweet that:
“I plainly have superpowers, but this spite and viciousness even on their wedding day is absolutely typical of the cruel yet pathetic British authorities. But it most certainly will not spoil the day; we already knew what they are and nothing has changed. The defiant wedding of Julian and Stella today, in the face of a possible 175 years in a US jail for publishing the facts of US war crimes, is a triumph for love, a triumph for hope and a triumph for truth. Let us celebrate!!”
The British establishment seems to have a special hatred for Murray because he was once one of them, an ambassador who has turned into an Establishment critic. He blew the whistle on U.K.-condoned torture in Uzbekistan, where he represented Britain, accused the Scottish first minister of interfering in a trial against her predecessor and has staunchly supported Assange, an enemy of the state.
Assange’s wedding is taking place at 1 pm GMT, 9 am EDT. Initially the Ministry of Justice refused to allow the couple to be married in the prison. Assange and Morris had to sue the ministry, which finally relented.
Writing in The Guardian on Wednesday, Moris said:
“Behind the scenes we have been locked in a dispute with the Ministry of Justice and prison authorities, who have denied our proposed witnesses because they are journalists; and who have denied our proposed photographer because he also works as a press photographer, even though they would all attend in a private capacity.
The prison states that our wedding picture is a security risk because it could end up in social media or the press. How absurd. What kind of security threat could a wedding picture pose?
Belmarsh regularly permits photography. Tommy Robinson and other convicted prisoners were allowed to be interviewed on camera when ITV filmed inside Belmarsh prison. But for Julian, who isn’t even serving a sentence, there appear to be a different set of rules. What are they so afraid of?
I am convinced that they fear that people will see Julian as a human being. Not a name, but a person. Their fear reveals that they want Julian to remain invisible to the public at all costs, even on his wedding day, and especially on his wedding day. For him to disappear from public consciousness. …
The way he is being treated is cruel and inhuman, and the public doesn’t like it. So the authorities hide it from the public.
Julian is being turned into prisoner X, an abstraction that is neither seen nor heard, and therefore nonexistent. Julian is being disappeared because his imprisonment is a national disgrace, an embarrassment for the British state, and a vicious, authoritarian move.
The logic of disappearing a person in the hope that they will be forgotten is what Soviet Russia did. But it’s too late to hide what is being done to him.”
— Consortium News (@Consortiumnews) March 23, 2022
The birds are singing, the sun is shining & it’s beautiful for Stella & Julian #Assange today
So many around the world are sending love & solidarity to the family of the defining political prisoner of our lifetime.
— Dr Deepa Govindarajan Driver (@deepa_driver) March 23, 2022