As Cassandra Fairbanks, Assange’s friend and colleague, came to see him in his London confinement, they attempted to change location, which was heavily equipped with cameras, for a different one. However, an embassy staffer immediately butted in and demanded that the pair return, amid sounds of microphones picking up conversations in the building.
US political commentator Cassandra Fairbanks came to visit Julian Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he has been staying since 2012 and shortly afterwards commented on his living conditions as “akin to a political dissident in Stasi-era Germany”.
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She claimed that she had had her phone checked and all of their conversations recorded during her visit, notably not the first one to the embassy, with the “surreal conditions” being “more invasive than visiting someone in a federal penitentiary”. According to Fairbanks, fears that their talk would be recorded “under pressure from the US” made them try exchanging written notes.
“Unable to speak privately, even with a noise machine attempting to muffle the microphones from picking up conversations, we resorted to passing notes”.
She took note of an increased number of cameras around, as compared to her previous visit. The pair, she said, tried to change location to one which they thought housed less surveillance equipment, but moments later were asked to return to the initial room, which they did passing through the hall, every single angle of which was recorded “by a forest of menacingly Orwellian black cameras.”
Fairbanks pointed out that Assange was surprisingly “in good spirits” despite being monitored by “some shadowy state actor” along with a string of “efforts from the US and Ecuador to make his life a living hell.” “It’s like a scene from the Stasi spy drama The Lives of Others”, Fairbanks noted, adding that in the age of “fake news”, the work of WikiLeaks should be “celebrated, not persecuted”.
“If we value the principle of the freedom of speech — we must do something to stop this madness”, she called her readers.
Assange’s supporters, including acting diva and now avid social activist Pamela Anderson, have publicly stood up in the WikiLeaks founder’s defence lately, asking for his safe return to Australia, after reports emerged of the deteriorating conditions he has to live in. Even a legal defence fund was launched for Assange amid fears that his life is “under increasingly serious threat” and media reports of Assange’s extremely dire living conditions.