Julian Assange must urgently be freed
I want my children to believe that inequitable treatment
is not tolerated in mature democracies
By Stella Moris
May 02, 2020 "Information
Clearing House" - The life of my partner,
Julian Assange, is at severe risk. He is on remand at
HMP Belmarsh, and Covid-19 is spreading within its
Julian and I have two little boys. Since
becoming a mother, I have been reflecting on my own
My parents are European, but when I was little
we lived in Botswana, five miles from the border with
Apartheid South Africa. Many of my parents' friends came
from across the border: writers, painters, conscientious
objectors. It was an unlikely centre for artistic
creativity and intellectual exchange.
The history books describe Apartheid as
institutional segregation, but it was much more than
that. Segregation occurred in broad daylight. The
abductions, torture and killings occurred at night.
The foundations of the Apartheid system were
precarious, so the regime met ideas of political reform
with live ammunition. In June 1985, South African
assassination squads crossed the border armed with
machine guns, mortars and grenades. As soon as gunfire
burst into the night, my parents wrapped me in a
blanket. I slept as my parents raced the car to safety.
The sound of explosions carried through the capital for
the hour and a half that it took to kill twelve people.
The first person to be killed was a very close
family friend, an exceptional painter. South Africa
claimed the raid had targeted the armed wing of the ANC,
but in reality most of the victims were innocent
civilians and children killed as they lay sleeping in
bed. We left Botswana within days.