Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) said he’ll ask Joe Biden to evaluate the case against WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, saying it’s an “embarrassment for the whole world” that he’s “treated worse than a criminal” for doing true journalism.
“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 an embarrassment to the world,” Obrador said Tuesday during a news conference in Mexico City.
Assange is awaiting extradition to the U.S. from the Belmarsh prison in London, England, where he’ll face espionage charges for exposing classified military documents revealing a slew of wrongdoing by the U.S. government during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
“And freedoms? Are we going to remove the Statue of Liberty from New York?” Obrador asked.
“Yes, I am going to ask Joe Biden to address the case of the founder of WikiLeaks. Humanism must prevail. Mexico opens the doors to Julian Assange in case it is decided to release him,” he added.
After exposing the U.S. government’s war crimes in Afghanistan and Iraq in 2011, Assange was charged under the Espionage Act in a politically motivated attack on free speech.
The UK government approved Assange’s extradition last week, which Assange has 14 days to appeal. If convicted in the U.S, he faces up to 175 years in prison.
Notably, the U.S. government plotted to assassinate Assange while he was sitting in prison, which former U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been asked to answer for by a Spanish court.
AMLO said in January that he had requested a pardon of Assange from Trump before he left office.
Obrador is scheduled to meet with Joe Biden in July.
AMLO’s full remarks (in Spanish):