Assange invites King Charles to Belmarsh prison to mark coronation
Julian Assange publishes a satirical letter from Belmarsh Prison, inviting King Charles III to commemorate his coronation on May 6 by visiting the facility.
Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, invited UK's Monarch King Charles III to pay him a visit at the Belmarsh prison in London, which has been holding the journalist in captivity for the past 4 years, to celebrate his coronation scheduled for May 6.
The Australian activist published a letter on the Declassified UK website, titled 'A Kingly Proposal: Letter from Julian Assange to King Charles III' where he satirically congratulated the British sovereign on his upcoming coronation.
"To His Majesty King Charles III. On the coronation of my liege, I thought it only fitting to extend a heartfelt invitation to you to commemorate this momentous occasion by visiting your very own kingdom within a kingdom: His Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh," the letter stated.
He pointed out the expansion of prisons in the UK where the "prison population from 82,000 to 106,000 within the next four years," adding that the country is host to the largest amount of prisoners in Western Europe.
Assange further shed light on the poor conditions British prisoners deal with on a daily basis, "During your visit, you will have the opportunity to feast upon the culinary delights prepared for your loyal subjects on a generous budget of two pounds per day. Savour the blended tuna heads and the ubiquitous reconstituted forms that are purportedly made from chicken."
According to the world-renowned journalist, prisoners in Belmarsh "dine alone in their cells, ensuring the utmost intimacy with their meal," Assange mockingly revealed.
The WikiLeaks founder has been held in Belmarsh prison since 2019, where he witnessed the death of his fellow inmate, kept captive just "eight yards from my cell using a crude rope fashioned from his bedsheets."
US holds Assange hostage
Assange is currently facing prosecution in the United States under the Espionage Act, which marks a new precedent, as the legislation was never utilized against classified information being made public.
In Assange's case, he's been unlawfully charged in the US with 17 counts of "espionage" and one count of computer misuse, connected to him leaking tens of thousands of military and diplomatic documents that exposed US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"It's the first time the US government has used the Espionage Act to go after a publisher and the implications are huge," Columbia University law professor Jameel Jaffer said. Assange "has been indicted for activity that reporters are engaged in every day and that reporters have to engage in every day to inform the public. This would have dramatic implications for national security journalism," the professor added, as per The Guardian.
The journalist faces a 175-year prison sentence following the approval of extradition to the US by the UK High Court in December 2021.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador stated that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been treated "very unfairly", affirming that Mexico is willing to receive him..
"Julian Assange is the best journalist of our time in the world and he has been treated very unfairly, worse than a criminal," Lopez Obrador said.
Meanwhile, several renowned newspapers, namely The New York Times, The Guardian, Le Monde, Der Spiegel, El País, put out an open letter earlier in 2022 highlighting that Washington's indictment of Assange "sets a dangerous precedent" and undermines the first amendment. The letter stressed that "Publishing is not a crime."