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Supporters carry signs calling for release of Julian Assange.

Supporters of Julian Assange gather to mark his 50th birthday as they demand his release at Parliament Square in London on July 3, 2021. (Photo: Hasan Esen/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Assange Supporters Demand Release Amid Key DOJ Witness's Admission Testimony Was Fabricated

The Wikileaks founder's family attended a rally in London to mark Assange's birthday—his third behind bars at Belmarsh Prison.

Julia Conley

The family of Julian Assange was joined by supporters on Saturday in Parliament Square, London, where they marked Assange's 50th birthday—the third he's spent in the city's Belmarsh Prison as he awaits possible extradition to the U.S.—and to demand his release days after a key witness in the case against him admitted his testimony was false.

Assange's partner, Stella Moris, was in attendance with the couple's young children at the gathering, which took place two days after Assange's father and brother wrapped up a tour of the U.S. aimed at building pressure on President Joe Biden to drop all charges against him under the Espionage Act.

"Democracies do not imprison journalists. Julian is a political prisoner," Moris told the supporters in Parliament Square. "He's a prisoner of conscience. He's in prison because he acted according to his conscience, exposing the powerful and defending the weak and the powerless."

The rally came a week after a key witness in the U.S. government's case against Assange, Sigurdur Ingi Thordarson, "admitted that his entire testimony is false" in an article in the Icelandic news outlet Stundin.

"The article details how Thordarson, a convicted felon, pedophile, and diagnosed sociopath, used his position to steal money from Wikileaks, and received immunity from prosecution from the FBI in a quid pro quo," FAIR reported, noting the new information received virtually no coverage from the corporate media.

Jennifer Robinson, a legal adviser to Assange, appeared on Democracy Now! earlier this week to discuss the development, calling Thordarson's admission "just the latest revelation to demonstrate why the U.S. case should be dropped."

Former Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn, Amnesty International, and press freedom organization PEN International were among those joining the calls for Assange's freedom on social media on Saturday.

Veteran journalist John Pilger, who also attended the rally in Parliament Square, condemned the international press for its silence on the most recent development in the Assange case, which he said indicates that "the case against Assange has collapsed."

"We celebrated Julian as a rare, true democrat," Pilger said. "Don't let America get its hands on him."


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