Dame Vivienne Westwood’s family ‘deeply disappointed’ Wikileaks founder Julian Assange denied permission to attend funeral | UK News

Dame Vivienne Westwood’s family have said they are “deeply disappointed” permission has been denied for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to attend her funeral.

The legendary fashion designer, who was a strong supporter of Assange, died at the age of 81 at the end of last month.

Assange is being held in Belmarsh Prison in southeast London while he continues a lengthy fight to avoid extradition to the US.

Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood smears cake on her face as she attends a picnic protest marking Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's 50th Birthday, on Parliament Square in London, Britain, July 3, 2021. REUTERS/Henry Nicholls
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Vivienne Westwood smears cake on her face as she attends a picnic protest in London in 2021 to mark Assange’s 50th birthday

The designer’s family said they were “deeply disappointed that we were unable to fulfil Vivienne’s wishes but are unsurprised by the decision, which is unjust and in keeping with the inhumane treatment he has received from the UK authorities up to this point”.

They added: “Julian has not been convicted of any crime, yet he is treated as if he is a terrorist, the only thing he is guilty of is publishing the truth.”

Dame Vivienne was a vocal supporter of Assange and the pair had been friends for more than a decade.

She designed the wedding dress for his partner Stella Moris for the couple’s wedding at Belmarsh last March.

After the designer’s death, Assange issued his first statement since being imprisoned in 2019.

“Vivienne was a Dame and a pillar of the anti-establishment,” it said.

“Bold, creative, thoughtful and a good friend. The best of Britain.

“She will be missed terribly by me and many others.”

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Assange has been fighting extradition to the US since he was arrested in London in 2019, after spending seven years holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy.

He is wanted for an alleged conspiracy to obtain and disclose national defence information after WikiLeaks published hundreds of thousands of leaked documents relating to the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

He has always denied any wrongdoing.

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