Vigils planned in support of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

Vigils are to be held this weekend to mark the second anniversary of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange being detained in prison after being dragged out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Supporters demanding his release will join events on Sunday outside the embassy, at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, and at Belmarsh prison in London where he is being held.

Assange lived inside the embassy for several years before being forcibly removed and arrested by police on 11 April 2019.

A bid by the United States to extradite him was rejected at Westminster Magistrates’ Court earlier this year but he has remained in prison until the outcome of an appeal.

WikiLeaks spokesperson Kristinn Hrafnsson told the PA news agency that Assange’s continued imprisonment was an “outrage and a travesty of justice”.

Read on...

He said: “April 11 marks two years since one of the world’s most important journalists was silenced when Metropolitan Police officers stormed into the Ecuadorian embassy and subsequently arrested and imprisoned Julian Assange on the United States’ behalf.

“It has now been two years of incarceration, isolation and psychological torture, all for exposing war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan, the same journalism for which Julian has been applauded all over the world for and nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

“It’s long past time for this injustice to end and we continue to appeal to the United States and the Department of Justice to drop the appeal and all the charges against Julian.

“In January, a judge in London ruled that Julian should not be extradited and so we are today calling for him to be released from Belmarsh prison and be a free man to be able to spend his time with his young family.”

Hrafnsson added that dozens of human rights and media organisations are supporting the case for Assange to be freed, saying: “This gross injustice must come to an end.”

It was recently revealed that Pope Francis sent a personal message to Assange, whose partner Stella Moris said: “After a hard night, Julian woke up this morning to a kind, personal message from Pope Francis @pontifex delivered to his cell door by the prison priest.”

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us