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Vigils to be held this weekend to mark two years since Assange's arrest

VIGILS are being held this weekend to mark two years since Julian Assange was arrested and incarcerated in Belmarsh Prison. 

Although the WikiLeaks founder was spared extradition to the United States by a judge earlier this year, he remains incarcerated in the high-security jail awaiting an appeal. 

Vigils are being held on Sunday by campaigners outside Belmarsh in south-east London, and the Ecuadorian embassy, where Mr Assange spent seven years before he was dragged out by British police in 2019. Supporters will call for his release. 

WikiLeaks spokesman Kristinn Hrafnsson condemned Mr Assange’s continued imprisonment as an “outrage and a travesty of justice.” 

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.”

In February the US government appealed the judge’s decision against the extradition of Mr Assange, dashing hopes that new President Joe Biden would take a different approach to his predecessor. 

The US wants to have Mr Assange stand trial on espionage and hacking-related charges over Wikileaks’s publication of hundreds of thousands of US military and diplomatic documents. 

Mr Hrafnsson said that the WikiLeaks founder’s legal team are still calling on the US to drop the appeal and charges against him. 

Events to mark two years since Mr Assange’s imprisonment are also taking place across the globe, with vigils also held in Glasgow, the US, Mexico, Germany, Australia and Canada. 

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