Despite having followed all the protocols and having the relevant authorisation, Christophe Deloire and Rebecca Vincent, RSF’s secretary-general and director of operations respectively, were denied access to Assange. The authorities at Belmarsh prison, where Assange is being held, argued that they could not allow them to enter because they were journalists. Deloire and Vincent asked to speak to the prison governor but were not received. According to RSF’s account, the decision to bar their entry was taken by Jenny Louis, who currently has that charge.

RSF secretary general Christophe Deloire, along with the NGO’s campaigns director Rebecca Vincent, went to the high-security prison after receiving confirmation that they would be able to visit Assange at 9.15am.

However, according to the NGO, they were barred by prison officials on the grounds that prison authorities had “received intelligence” that they were journalists and were therefore not allowed in.

Julian Assange
Criminalisation, imprisonment and judicial harassment: 12 years of persecution against Assange and Freedom of Expression

RSF claims that the decision to prevent their entry was taken by the governor of Belmarsh Prison, Jenny Louis, who refused to receive them despite Deloire and Vincent’s urgent request to meet with her to arrange access.

In his social media statements, the RSF secretary general confirmed that they had followed all the rules, that Assange has the right to visits and that RSF is an organisation that defends journalists but is not an organisation of journalists. At the same time, he demands the reversal of this decision.

For his part, Vincent commented that throughout the three years of campaigning for Assange’s release, his organisation has had to face all kinds of obstacles and that this is one more of them.

So far, Julian Assange has not been visited by any NGO and it has been four years since he was taken to Belmarsh prison.