LONDON, Apr 13, 2019, TASS. The founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, has been put into the Belmarsh high-security prison in southeastern London, known informally as “Britain’s Guantanamo,” Bloomberg reported on Friday citing Assange’s friend Vaughan Smith, reported the TASS.
Smith was the last person who visited Assange in the Embassy of Ecuador prior to his arrest this Thursday. He says that Assange was taken to Belmarsh straight after the Westminster Magistrates’ Court ruled to keep him in custody.
The Belmarsh prison is known for its harsh security measures. In the past, the facility has held high-profile inmates, such as radical Islamic preacher Abu Qatada, once referred to as “Osama Bin Laden’s right-hand man in Europe.”
Assange was arrested by the United Kingdom’s Metropolitan Police Service at the Ecuadorian embassy in London on Thursday, after Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno had announced the withdrawal of his asylum.
In 2012, Assange sought refuge in London’s Ecuadorian Embassy to escape extradition to Sweden, which had issued a warrant for his arrest on sexual harassment and rape charges. Assange dismissed the accusations as politically motivated.
His worst fear was Sweden might extradite him to the United States, where he would face 35 years in prison or capital punishment for publishing classified State Department documents. The rape case was dropped in 2017 but the United Kingdom continued to insist that Assange be arrested over his failure to appear in court in London.