23:54 GMT28 November 2020
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    The 58-year-old was arrested at the beginning of July by the FBI. She is currently being held in a New York City jail and is facing six charges, including one of enticing minors – as young as 14 – to engage in illegal sex acts. She has pleaded not guilty.

    Ghislaine Maxwell's family has launched an operation called GCO (a "get Ghislaine out of jail" endeavour) saying her human rights have been violated in the Metropolitan Detention Centre, The Telegraph reported. According to the newspaper, a family friend, Brian Basham, has set the goal of freeing Maxwell from jail citing "cruel" and "vindictive" treatment of the socialite at the hands of prison employees.

    Basham told The Telegraph that Maxwell, who has been repeatedly accused by Jeffrey Epstein's alleged victims of grooming young girls, including underage individuals, to provide sexual services for the disgraced financier, had lost 25 pounds (11 kilograms) because guards do not provide her with the vegan diet she needs.

    "She has lost 25lbs in jail but when she complained they took away her weighing machine so she could not weigh herself", Basham told the newspaper.

    He noted that the prison guards have stopped talking to Maxwell, leaving her in isolation and that her family was unable to visit or talk to her.

    "She is unable to talk to her sisters and their letters are being vindictively not given to her. She is in a cell 9ft by 7ft on a floor of the prison with no one else on it. The last I heard is that the guards have now stopped speaking to her so she is very much in isolation. I am told that none of the members of the family have been able to visit or talk to her directly", Basham told The Telegraph.

    In addition, Basham claimed that prison officials had forced Maxwell to wear paper clothes and no bra as they fear she could take her own life.

    He described the case against her as a "dog and pony show put on by the Department of Justice and the FBI" and lamented the fact that convicted sex offenders like Bill Cosby and Harvey Weinstein had been granted bail, while Maxwell was denied such treatment.

    "Both Weinstein and Cosby were given bail and they were men who were a danger to women. That can't be said of Ghislaine at all", Basham said.

    Treated Worse Than Other Detainees

    This is not the first time that complaints have been made about Maxwell's detention. Ghislaine herself described the conditions at the Metropolitan Detention Centre as "onerous", with her lawyers saying that she is being treated "worse" than other pretrial detainees. In particular, her legal team complained that her cell is searched multiple times a day and that she is forced to undergo numerous body scans. Such conditions, her lawyers said, hinder her ability to prepare for her defence. The lawyers argued that unlike Jeffrey Epstein, their client is not suicidal and demanded that Maxwell be released into the general population and granted the privileges given to other detainees.

    Who is Ghislaine Maxwell?

    Maxwell is the daughter of British billionaire Robert Maxwell, but is better known as a former girlfriend of Jeffrey Epstein, a financier arrested last year on charges of running a sex trafficking network of minors. It is said that Maxwell introduced Epstein to many high-profile figures such as former US President Bill Clinton and Queen Elizabeth's second son Prince Andrew.

    To the disappointment of Epstein's numerous accusers, the financier died in prison last year awaiting trial. His death was ruled a suicide, though many doubt it, saying his powerful friends had a hand in his death because they feared they would be implicated in his crimes.

    Epstein's alleged victims have long claimed that Maxwell was involved in his network as she groomed girls for him. Thus, Maxwell is the only person who can shed light on what happened inside Epstein's purported sex trafficking empire.

    It is for this reason that officials at the Brooklyn prison placed her on a suicide watch, moved her from cell to cell, and gave her paper clothes. Maxwell has pleaded not guilty to all six charges, including the count of enticing a minor in illegal sex acts. Her lawyers say she has been made a scapegoat for Epstein's crimes.

    Tags:
    Prince Andrew, sex trafficking ring, sexual abuse, Jeffrey Epstein, Ghislaine Maxwell
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