Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood has led a protest to stop the extradition of Julian Assange, while suspended in a large bird cage.

Vivienne Westwood at The Old Bailey in London dressed as a canary to show her support for Julian Assange. Images: Ki Price

Dressed in a canary yellow suit, Ms Westwood chanted “free Julian Assange” from a 10ft cage outside the Old Bailey in London today (July 21).

Supporters of Julian Assange said the cage was chosen to symbolise the metaphor of ‘The Canary In Coal Mine’. They said Assange was being held for identifying ‘poison’ in the system.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is due to appear for a full extradition hearing on September 7.

Dame Vivienne said she wanted to get Assange “out of the cage”.

If extradited to the US, Assange will face 17 charges under the Espionage Act and conspiracy to commit computer intrusion after thousands of classified documents were published in 2010 and 2011.

The 49-year-old is currently being held in Belmarsh Prison in south-east London.

Seventy-nine-year-old Westwood said she had dressed in yellow because canaries were used by miners to detect poisonous gas.

She said: “If the canary died they all got out. Julian Assange is in a cage and he needs to get out. Don’t extradite him to America.”

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