MEXICAN President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has offered sanctuary to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and will raise the case with US President Joe Biden when they meet next month.
The president, known as Amlo, told reporters during a press briefing on Tuesday that the journalist had been treated “very unfairly” to the shame of the world and will call on the US to drop the charges against him.
“Julian Assange is the best journalist of our time in the world and he has been treated very unfairly, worse than a criminal. This is a shame for the world,” Amlo said.
The leftist leader said he was disappointed by Britain’s Home Secretary Priti Patel’s decision to allow his extradition to the US, where he faces 175 years behind bars under the draconian Espionage Act.
Amlo said that his demand for charges against Mr Assange to be dropped would disappoint hardliners in the US but insisted that “humanity must prevail.”
He will make the call when he meets Mr Biden in the US next month and offer him sanctuary in Mexico, describing Mr Assange as “a prisoner of conscience.”
Amlo is the latest world leader to condemn the actions of Britain and the US in the treatment of Mr Assange who remains in Belmarsh high security prison pending appeal against Ms Patel’s decision.
Earlier this week, China said “all eyes are on the Assange case,” which Beijing said exposed the hypocrisy of those countries that claim to stand for press freedom and democracy.
Newly elected Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese has, however, come under criticism for “abandoning” Mr Assange, despite speaking out against his treatment before assuming power.
His government insists that it is using diplomatic channels to secure his release rather than engaging in what he described as “megaphone diplomacy.”
But veteran Australian journalist John Pilger blasted Mr Albanese for his “weasel words,” describing him as a coward.
“Australia has the diplomatic power to bring Julian Assange home. Not doing so is treachery,” he said.
“The killing of Assange is our final surrender,” Mr Pilger added.
Yesterday leading German newspaper Berliner Zeitung called for the release of Mr Assange in a front-page article.
Mr Assange’s father John Shipton and brother Gabriel Shipton have been in the German capital calling for the federal government to act to secure his release.
“Joe Biden will act if Germany puts the case on the table with agreement from its Nato partners,” they told the newspaper, adding that next week’s G7 summit in Munich is “a good opportunity to build up pressure.”