Assange Wants Out of Prison to Honor a Friend

Wikileaks founder asks to attend funeral of fashion icon Vivienne Westwood
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 1, 2023 5:57 AM CST
Assange Wants Out of Prison to Attend Funeral
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in a 2011 photo.   (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

Julian Assange wants to be let out of prison, if only for a few hours, to attend the funeral of a friend and public supporter. The Wikileaks founder has asked authorities at Britain's Belmarsh Prison to allow him to pay his respects to the late fashion icon Vivienne Westwood, who died on Thursday, reports the BBC. The outlet suggests the request probably will not be granted on security grounds, though prison officials decide such requests on a case-by-case basis. The funeral date has not been made public.

Westwood's death prompted Assange to issue what the UPI calls his first public remarks since being imprisoned. "Vivienne was a Dame and a pillar of the anti-establishment," he said in a statement issued by his wife, Stella Assange. "Bold, creative, thoughtful and a good friend. The best of Britain. She will be missed terribly by me and many others." Westwood championed Assange's cause, particularly his ongoing fight to avoid extradition to the US, where he faces charges for publishing classified documents. (Major media outlets in the US say the charges should be dropped.)

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