Andrés Manuel López Obrador demands US President Biden intervene and that US media join the fight to free ‘the best journalist of our time’
Mexican president Andrés Manuel López Obrador has demanded that the US end its pursuit of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange – and has said that if the country persists, it should dismantle the Statue of Liberty.
And Obrador condemned the Americans’ determination to use the Espionage Act to go after journalists who embarrass it by revealing US crimes that it would rather keep secret, warning that it will damage journalism, which would have a profound impact on even the notion of democracy:
Julian Assange’s prosecution raises profound concerns about freedom of the press. Invoking the Espionage Act for practices that include receiving and publishing classified information sends a dangerous signal to journalists and publishers worldwide.
Obrador also called on the US press to join the calls for their government to abandon its war on Assange, whom he described as ‘the best journalist of our time’ and a ‘prisoner of conscience’ who has been ‘unfairly treated’.
if they take him to the US, and sentence him to the maximum sentence [to] die in prison, they will have to dismantle the Statue of Liberty that the French delivered …because it is no longer a symbol of freedom.
Obrador said that he would be personally asking US president Joe Biden to intervene when he meets Biden this month and repeated his offer that Mexico is prepared to grant Assange asylum and citizenship.
To its shame, the UK government has granted the US extradition request, despite the collapse of the US case when its witness against Assange admitted he had lied throughout – and despite revelations that the US used a surveillance company to spy on Assange and his discussions with his legal team. Disgracefully, Labour leader Keir Starmer, who as Director of Public Prosecutions was eager to extradite the autistic hacker Gary McKinnon to the US, has never spoken up for Assange either.
Julian Assange is appealing the decision to the European Court of Human Rights.
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