Julian Assange could get political asylum in Mexico. President Obrador has his offer again. But it is very unlikely that US President Biden will agree and let the WikiLeaks co-founder off the hook.
Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said he had sought a pardon from Julian Assange with the Trump administration a year ago, but had been ignored. He was now repeating an asylum proposal that he had made last year. Obrador described the efforts he had made to secure the freedom of the anti-intelligence activist. Is repeated his offer for political asylum during a press conference on Monday, after the UK Supreme Court ruled on December 10th that Assange could be extradited to the United States on a series of espionage charges related to the publication of classified material.
“It would be a sign of solidarity, of brotherhood, to give him asylum in the country where Assange decides to live, including Mexico”he said, pointing out that while his office sent a letter to the Trump administration regarding a pardon for Assange, it never received a response. Should Assange find refuge in Mexico, he would not interfere in the affairs of other countries or pose a threat, the president claimed.
An ongoing legal process
Obrador’s offer of asylum was originally made almost a year ago and coincides with the anniversary of the decision of a British judge who sided with Assange and ruled that he should not be extradited to the US. “I’m glad the UK doesn’t approve extradition to the US”López Obrador said in his morning press conference a year ago when the extradition was denied. “Assange is a journalist. He deserves another chance. I am in favor of having him pardoned ”. A senior UK court overturned the ruling last month, but the case has now been referred back to Westminster Magistrates’ Court, where Assange’s lawyers claim to be appealing the verdict.
The US Department of Justice has indicted the WikiLeaks co-founder on 18 cases for disclosing US military and diplomatic secrets – based, among other things, on the World War I Espionage Act – some of which contained evidence of war crimes committed by the American armed forces overseas. While the government insists that Assange’s work put the lives of U.S. personnel at risk, proponents deny this claim, arguing that WikiLeaks’ activities are in principle no different from investigative journalism published in major media, including its use of leaked classified documents .