Pamela Anderson to visit Julian Assange in prison
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is to receive his first prison visitor other than one of his lawyers when Pamela Anderson meets him in the high-security jail where he is being held.
The US actress met Assange on several occasions when he lived at the Ecuadorean embassy in London.
She will be accompanied on the visit to Belmarsh Prison in south-east London by WikiLeaks editor Kristinn Hrafnsson.
Assange was dragged out of the embassy last month and has been sentenced to 50 weeks in prison for a bail violation.
He is fighting extradition to the United States where he is wanted for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks.
Mr Hrafnsson said Assange is in “general” solitary confinement because he mostly spends 23 hours a day in his cell, adding that the situation was “unacceptable”.
Speaking after a court hearing last week, he said: “We are worried about Julian Assange. We are hearing that the situation in Belmarsh Prison is appalling because of austerity and cutbacks.
“For the last weeks since he was arrested, he has spent 23 out of 24 hours a day in his cell most of the time.
“That is what we call in general terms solitary confinement. That’s unacceptable. That applies to most of the prisoners in that appalling facility. It is unacceptable that a publisher is spending time in that prison.”
United Nations rights experts have voiced concern about the “disproportionate” sentence given to the WikiLeaks founder as well as his detention in a high-security prison.
The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention said in a statement on Friday it was “deeply concerned” about the “disproportionate” sentence imposed on Assange.
“The Working Group is of the view that violating bail is a minor violation that, in the United Kingdom, carries a maximum sentence of 12 months in prison.
“It is worth recalling that the detention and the subsequent bail of Mr Assange in the UK were connected to preliminary investigations initiated in 2010 by a prosecutor in Sweden.
“It is equally worth noting that that prosecutor did not press any charges against Mr Assange and that in 2017, after interviewing him in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, she discontinued investigations and brought an end to the case.
“The Working Group is further concerned that Mr Assange has been detained since 11 April 2019 in Belmarsh prison, a high-security prison, as if he were convicted for a serious criminal offence.
“This treatment appears to contravene the principles of necessity and proportionality envisaged by the human rights standards.”
The Working Group has previously stated that Assange was arbitrarily detained in the Ecuadorean embassy and should have had his liberty restored.