andrew wilkie assange
Andrew Wilkie speaks outside Belmarsh prison (Image: Victoria Jones/PA Wire)
"Today’s 90 minute visit to Julian Assange in London’s Belmarsh Prison was an alarming experience. The place is everything you’d expect of a supermax jail and the process of entering and departing was security on steroids. Just the place for a supervillain.
Once inside we waited. And waited. And waited.
Despite the half hour it took us to be processed on entry, and me being ejected temporarily because I had a small hole in the bottom of one of my suit pockets, and the fact that all the other prisoners had already been allowed into the cavernous visitors area, Julian Assange was nowhere to be seen.
But then, finally, there he was, the last prisoner to see any visitor.
Clearly the special one. No wonder he looked tired, a man under enormous pressure, not just from years of incarceration, but also for the chilling prospect of being sent to a US federal prison for the rest of his life.
The injustice in all this is profound.
Sure, people have all sorts of views about Julian Assange. But when push comes to shove none of that is relevant. The substantive matter is that Julian Assange publicised US misconduct and presented hard evidence of their war crimes.
Because at the end of the day no one should be punished for doing the right thing."