The Mexican president said the country had extended an earlier asylum offer for the Wikileaks founder, wanted in the US on a number of charges.
President of Mexico Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he had sent a letter to his US counterpart Joe Biden in defense of Julian Assange after the UK approved the extradition of the Wikileaks founder to the US.
Responding to a reporter’s question during a press conference on Monday, Lopez Obrador said Mexico had extended an earlier asylum offer for Assange.
“I left a letter to the president about Assange, explaining that he did not commit any serious crimes, did not cause anyone’s death, did not violate any human rights and that he exercise his freedom, and his arrest would mean a permanent humiliation. to freedom of speech,” said Lopez Obrador.
“I also said that Mexico is offering protection and asylum to Julian Assange,” he said, adding that he had yet to receive a response from Biden.
The development came after the UK last month Approving the extradition of Assange to the US to face criminal charges related to WikiLeaks’ release of secret US military files and diplomatic cables.
UK Home Secretary Priti Patel’s office says UK courts have concluded extradition would not violate Assange’s human rights, and that he would be treated appropriately.
On July 1st, Assange appeal his extradition to the United States at the Supreme Court in London.
The 51-year-old Australian-born man is wanted by US authorities on 18 charges, including espionage charges, related to WikiLeaks’ release of a series of secret US military files and diplomatic cable that Washington says has been posted online. danger.
The Australian government has come under increasing pressure to intervene, but last month Prime Minister Anthony Albanese rejected call for him to publicly ask Washington to drop the prosecution of Assange.
Last week, Lopez Obrador met with Biden in Washington, DC, during which the President of Mexico said he had brought up Assange’s case.
Lopez Obrador, more commonly known as AMLO, recently said the Statue of Liberty should be dismantled and returned to France if Assange is detained in the US.
Meanwhile, Assange’s supporters say the Wikileaks founder is an anti-establishment hero who became a victim for exposing US wrongdoing during the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq. They see his prosecution as a politically motivated attack on the press and freedom of expression.
“The fight to save Assange is also a fight to save our press freedom and First Amendment rights,” DC Action for Assange and the Assange Defense Commission, US-based groups, told know in one Letters Thank you Lopez Obrador for his support last week.
“We agree with you that the prosecution of Mr. Assange for publishing is a profound threat to journalism around the world. We appreciate your consistent support for these important principles, the core tenets of a working democracy,” they said.
Assange’s legal troubles began in 2010 when Sweden sought to extradite him from Britain on sex crimes charges. When he lost his case in 2012, he fled to the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he remained for seven years.
When he was sacked in April 2019, he was jailed for breaching British bail conditions even though the Swedish case against him was dropped. He has been fighting extradition to the US since June 2019 and remains in prison.