July 24, 2024

Columbus Post

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Assange hugs his wife for the first time in freedom

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Whistleblower is freeDeep embrace: Assange meets his wife after 14 years in prison

Julian Assange spent his first night free with his family after a 14-year legal odyssey. But what are the health consequences of long-term incarceration?

  • WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has been freed after a 14-year legal battle.

  • Stella Assange is worried about her husband’s health.

  • Assange initially wants to spend time with his two young sons.

Even after WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s release and return home, the health effects of his long incarceration are still unclear, his wife has said. “We are concerned,” Stella Assange said on Thursday morning’s 7 News Breakfast Television. The Australian’s seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London and five years in the British high-security Belmarsh prison left their mark. “He had to endure these hardships mentally and physically,” insisted the 40-year-old lawyer.

For years within four walls

All these years, Assange has always been confined to four walls. “So it’s obviously having a serious impact on his health, and we’re certainly going to try to do all the necessary tests to see what’s really going on with him,” Stella Assange continued. The 52-year-old has not made any public statements since returning home to Australia on Wednesday evening (local time).

A US court in the Marianas island of Saipan, a US territory in the western Pacific, on Wednesday approved a deal between the Australian and US justice departments over espionage charges. Assange is now free after a 14-year legal tussle. Since 2010, WikiLeaks has released classified information from US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan by whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

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He met his wife for the first time in freedom

Assange had never met his wife in person before coming to Canberra: the relationship between the two began during her time at the Ecuadorian embassy.

In a video on Dailymail’s TikTok channel, they can be seen greeting each other with warm hugs and kisses.

The couple, who have two children, married in Belmarsh Prison in 2022. According to WikiLeaks, Assange spent 23 hours a day in solitary confinement in the smallest cell there.

Stella Assange said her husband now wants to spend time with their two young sons. “It’s going to be a test – he’s been held captive and held in very harsh conditions. We haven’t been able to have a normal family life until today,” he said. Assange needs privacy and time now: “We’ll let him decide how he wants to spend his days and his time now.”

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(DPA/bre)