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Friday, December 10, 2010

Inside Julian Assange's London Prison




Just like any other prisoner in Wandsworth Prison, Julian Assange has had his laptop taken away. But as part of a scheme called "access to justice", prison authorities are arranging for him to be given a computer so he can work on his case but he will have limited access to it. He will stay here until his court appearance next Tuesday. The old prison which was opened in 1851, holds 1,100 more than it was intended to house and as a result, cells designed for one prisoner now holds two. But Assange has been transferered to the "segregation unit".

The prison doesn't have a very good reputation. Wandsworth guards have been accused of using unnecessary high levels of force when restraining prisoners and suicides are on the increase. Wandsworth also failed cleanliness standards - many toilets and sinks in the gaol's "first night" remand cells were badly stained, showers were filthy and there were large cockroach infestations.

Remand prisoners like Assange spend around 23 hours a day in their cells with one hour free time. Yesterday he was visited by officials from the Australian High Commission.
Meanwhile the Russian President praised Assange saying "Public and non-governmental organizations should think of how to help him" and added "Maybe he should be nominated for the Nobel peace prize." Obviously a shot at the Americans who said that Russia was a "corrupt mafia state".