Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been moved out of solitary confinement in a British prison after a series of petitions by his legal team and fellow inmates, his organisation says.
The Australian has been held almost incommunicado with severe restrictions on his access to visitors in Belmarsh prison near London since April as he awaits his US extradition trial set to start on February 24.
Wikileaks ambassador Joseph Farrell says the 48-year-old was moved out of solitary in the medical wing into a different wing with 40 other inmates on Friday.
He says the breakthrough occurred after his legal team and three separate petitions by inmates to the prison governor that his treatment was unjust and unfair.
After meetings between the prison authorities, Assange's legal team and inmates, he was transferred.
"The move is a huge victory for Assange's legal team and for campaigners who have been insisting for weeks that the prison authorities end the punitive treatment of Assange," Mr Farrell said in a statement to AAP.
Assange is set to face trial next month to determine whether he should be extradited to the US, where he has been charged with 17 counts of spying and one count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion.
The charges relate to allegations Assange tried to help former US army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning protect her digital identity as she accessed classified Pentagon files on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars.
WikiLeaks helped publish thousands of those files, including some that revealed US war crimes in both countries. His case is widely viewed as a litmus test for the protection of journalists' sources.
Mr Farrell said Assange's transfer out of solitary after nine months is a small victory given that he's still being denied adequate access to his lawyers.
At a recent case management hearing solicitor Gareth Pierce said the defence team had only been allowed three hours with Assange to discuss the case.
"He is still being denied adequate access to his lawyers as even the judge recognised at a case management hearing in Westminster Magistrates Court," Mr Farrell said.
"And campaigners continue to insist that Assange should not be in jail at all, least of all in Belmarsh high security prison."
Australian Associated Press