Pope Francis Meets With Family Of Julian Assange


Pope Francis has met with the family of imprisoned WikiLeaks founder and Australian publisher and journalist Julian Assange in a private audience in the Vatican.

Stella Assange, along with her children Max and Gabriel, and her mother and brother, met with Pope Francis on Friday.

In an interview with Associated Press, Stella Assange said she was grateful for the meeting.

“[Pope Francis] has provided great solace and comfort and we are extremely appreciative for his reaching out to our family in this way,” Ms Assange said. “He understands that Julian is suffering and is concerned.

“I have a lot of faith that the situation will change, and there are a lot of people around the world, from all parts of the world here and elsewhere, who are trying to get justice and see freedom for my husband.”

Overnight, Julian’s brother Gabriel Shipton tweeted his appreciation at Pope Francis’ meeting with the family, noting his response was wildly different to that of Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese.


“Today Pope Francis in a show of care, compassion and humanity met with Julian Assange’s family – Stella Assange, her children, mother and brother. I couldn’t help thinking back to last month when Stella was in Australia, Julian’s home, and the Prime Minister refused to meet her.”

Assange remains jailed without charge in Britain’s Belmarsh Prison, as his lawyers fight his extradition to the United States for alleged breaches of the US Espionage Act. The charges relate to Assange’s involvement with Chelsea Manning, a former US soldier who leaked Assange a trove of classified documents in 2010, including the infamous ‘Collateral Murder’ video, which revealed US military targeting and killing innocent people, including journalists, in Iraq.

Assange has been effectively under arrest for more than a decade, after seeking asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2012. He remained there until 2019, when he was arrested by police after a new government in Ecuador revoked his asylum. Assange was jailed for a year for breaching earlier bail conditions, and has since been held without charge while he awaits a legal challenge to a US extradition warrant.

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