WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s biggest celebrity fan, former “Baywatch” actress Pamela Anderson, visited the disgraced hacktivist in prison on Tuesday and subsequently denounced the high-security measures police have taken against him.
“He does not deserve to be in a super max prison,” Anderson said in a statement outside of the jail, according to CNN. “He has never committed a violent act … he’s an innocent person.”
Anderson extolled Assange as a good man who has been wrongfully persecuted by being “cut off from everybody.”
“He’s a good man, he’s an incredible person, I love him, and I can’t imagine what he’s been going through,” Anderson said.
WikiLeaks Editor-in-Chief Kristinn Hrafnsson accompanied Pamela Anderson to the high-security prison in Belmarsh on Tuesday. She told the press that the visit made everyone “quite emotional.”
“It is for me shocking to see my friend, an intellectual, a publisher, a journalist. A man who has transformed the world of journalism with his work sitting in a high-security prison,” Hrafnsson said. “Someone said that you could judge the civilization of a society by visiting its prisons and, frankly, I have to say from my heart that this visit did not reflect well on this society here.”
Hrafnsson appeared to be referring to a famous quote from Dostoevsky: “The degree of civilization in a society can be judged by entering its prisons. A society should be judged not by how it treats its outstanding citizens, but by how it treats its criminals. If he has a conscience, he will suffer for his mistake. That will be his punishment — as well as the prison.”
Julian Assange received a year-long prison sentence earlier this week for violating his bail and hiding from authorities for up to seven years in the Ecuadorian embassy in London. He apologized “unreservedly” to those who may have felt disrespected by his decision. WikiLeaks tweeted that the sentence was a vindictive act of the British government.
“Julian Assange’s sentence is as shocking as it is vindictive. We have grave concerns as to whether he will receive a fair extradition hearing in the UK,” WikiLeaks tweeted. “Julian Assange’s sentence, for seeking and receiving asylum, is twice as much as the sentencing guidelines. The so-called speedboat killer, convicted of manslaughter, was only sentenced to six months for failing to appear in court.”
The WikiLeaks founder still faces extradition to the United States, where he faces federal charges for allegedly aiding former U.S. intelligence analyst Bradley Manning (now Chelsea Manning) in the hack to obtain classified and damaging information that he subsequently published on WikiLeaks. As The Daily Wire reported, the United States could have a difficult time actually convicting Assange by having to prove he aided Chelsea Manning in the hack on government computers — rather than merely publishing already-obtained or already-leaked sensitive information.
“The case against Assange, as it stands, seems weak, and hinges on whether Assange speaking to and ‘encouraging’ Chelsea Manning constitutes conspiracy to hack into and steal classified records,” reported Emily Zanotti. “The DOJ document supposes that Assange was an accomplice to Manning’s crimes, but the evidence seems to suggest that Assange’s ‘encouragement’ may have involved little more than receiving Manning’s stolen documents and requesting more.”