In a #Unity4J Vigil 12.0 interview with Joe Lauria, Cassandra Fairbanks described a recent visit to Julian Assange in the Ecuadorean embassy.
She said there was more of a 'process' this time. “Last year I organised the visit with his lawyers” she said, “The embassy wasn't involved at all. It was really simple. This time I had to fill out a form detailing where I work, my employer's address, all my social media accounts. If I wanted to bring my phone in I would have had to provide the IMEI, serial number and all kinds of other information about any device I brought. I figured it would be easier just to leave it behind.”
Inside the embassy things were also different. “The amount of cameras and microphones were double or triple what was there last year. Now no matter where you're standing, no matter where you are, there's a camera picking you up and from pretty much every angle also which was a little bit dystopian, creepy.” To get some privacy they ended up “just passing notes” which Fairbanks thought was “a little bit insane.”
She said what struck her about Assange this time was “He can't even speak freely about his thoughts and ideas to his friends ... where he's living” which she feels is “a really scary thing.” Despite this Assange is “in really good spirits. He looks a little bit thinner than the last time I saw him but overall he was tough. He's still bright, still sharp. They won't be able to break him. He's strong and he knows how important his fight is and I don't think that he'll give that up for anything.”
She said “It's less that they don't want him to know what's going on in the world, its that they don't want him to share his opinions and I think they're succeeding on that.”