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Julian Assange's Letter To King Charles In Full: PDF Download

Edward Murrow

4 May 2023

Julian Asange Sends Epic Letter Inviting King Charles to Visit Him In Prison

Five years ago today, Julian Assange was unjustly imprisoned in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. The founder of WikiLeaks had sought refuge there to avoid extradition to Sweden on charges of sexual assault, fearing he would ultimately be extradited to the United States to face charges related to his organization's publication of classified government documents. Since then, Assange has been subjected to a relentless legal and political campaign that has included arbitrary detention, psychological torture, and persecution by multiple governments.

As the world marks this anniversary, it is worth reflecting on the extraordinary courage and sacrifice of Julian Assange in the face of overwhelming adversity. Assange's commitment to transparency and accountability in government has brought him into conflict with some of the most powerful institutions on the planet. He has faced countless legal challenges, character assassination, and even death threats for his work. But throughout it all, he has remained steadfast in his mission to expose the truth.

In a remarkable letter addressed to His Majesty Prince Charles, which we reprint here in full, Assange lays out the rationale for his work and his commitment to the principles of justice, freedom, and democracy. Written from the confines of his embassy prison, Assange's letter is a powerful testament to the resilience of the human spirit in the face of oppression.

In his letter, Assange reflects on the profound impact of the WikiLeaks disclosures, which have exposed the inner workings of governments and corporations around the world. He writes that "the right to know is a fundamental human right, and the public has a right to be informed about the actions of their governments and the corporations that shape their lives." He argues that the secrecy and manipulation of information by those in power is a direct threat to democracy, and that the work of WikiLeaks is essential to ensuring that the people have a voice in the decisions that affect their lives.

Assange's letter also addresses the personal toll of his situation, noting that he has been deprived of his freedom for more than five years and that his health has suffered as a result. He describes the psychological torture he has endured, including the constant surveillance and monitoring of his communications, the denial of medical treatment, and the isolation from his friends and family. Despite these challenges, Assange remains determined to fight for his freedom and for the principles that he believes in.

As we reflect on the anniversary of Assange's imprisonment, it is important to recognize the broader implications of his case for freedom of speech, press freedom, and the rule of law. The treatment of Assange by governments and legal systems around the world is a chilling reminder of the dangers of unchecked power and the importance of transparency and accountability in our institutions. Whether or not one agrees with Assange's methods or politics, his case is a powerful reminder of the need for vigilance in protecting the rights and freedoms that are essential to a functioning democracy.

We hope that by reprinting Assange's letter to Prince Charles, we can help to shine a light on the injustices that he has faced and the principles for which he has fought. At a time when the world is facing unprecedented challenges to democracy and human rights, his message of hope, courage, and resistance is more important than ever.

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.

You will no doubt recall the wise words of a renowned playwright: “The quality of mercy is not strained. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath.”

Ah, but what would that bard know of mercy faced with the reckoning at the dawn of your historic reign? After all, one can truly know the measure of a society by how it treats its prisoners, and your kingdom has surely excelled in that regard.

Your Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh is located at the prestigious address of One Western Way, London, just a short foxhunt from the Old Royal Naval College in Greenwich. How delightful it must be to have such an esteemed establishment bear your name.

It is here that 687 of your loyal subjects are held, supporting the United Kingdom’s record as the nation with the largest prison population in Western Europe. As your noble government has recently declared, your kingdom is currently undergoing “the biggest expansion of prison places in over a century”, with its ambitious projections showing an increase of the prison population from 82,000 to 106,000 within the next four years. Quite the legacy, indeed.

As a political prisoner, held at Your Majesty’s pleasure on behalf of an embarrassed foreign sovereign, I am honoured to reside within the walls of this world class institution. Truly, your kingdom knows no bounds.

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. And worry not, for unlike lesser institutions such as Alcatraz or San Quentin, there is no communal dining in a mess hall. At Belmarsh, prisoners dine alone in their cells, ensuring the utmost intimacy with their meal.

Beyond the gustatory pleasures, I can assure you that Belmarsh provides ample educational opportunities for your subjects. As Proverbs 22:6 has it: “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” Observe the shuffling queues at the medicine hatch, where inmates gather their prescriptions, not for daily use, but for the horizon-expanding experience of a “big day out”—all at once.

You will also have the opportunity to pay your respects to my late friend Manoel Santos, a gay man facing deportation to Bolsonaro’s Brazil, who took his own life just eight yards from my cell using a crude rope fashioned from his bedsheets. His exquisite tenor voice now silenced forever.

Venture further into the depths of Belmarsh and you will find the most isolated place within its walls: Healthcare, or “Hellcare” as its inhabitants lovingly call it. Here, you will marvel at sensible rules designed for everyone’s safety, such as the prohibition of chess, whilst permitting the far less dangerous game of checkers.

Deep within Hellcare lies the most gloriously uplifting place in all of Belmarsh, nay, the whole of the United Kingdom: the sublimely named Belmarsh End of Life Suite. Listen closely, and you may hear the prisoners’ cries of “Brother, I’m going to die in here”, a testament to the quality of both life and death within your prison.

But fear not, for there is beauty to be found within these walls. Feast your eyes upon the picturesque crows nesting in the razor wire and the hundreds of hungry rats that call Belmarsh home. And if you come in the spring, you may even catch a glimpse of the ducklings laid by wayward mallards within the prison grounds. But don’t delay, for the ravenous rats ensure their lives are fleeting.

I implore you, King Charles, to visit His Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh, for it is an honour befitting a king. As you embark upon your reign, may you always remember the words of the King James Bible: “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy” (Matthew 5:7). And may mercy be the guiding light of your kingdom, both within and without the walls of Belmarsh.

Your most devoted subject,

Julian Assange


letter from julian asange in ful
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