President celebrates London verdict: Mexico offers Assange political asylum

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President celebrates London judgment
Mexico offers Assange political asylum

The Mexican head of state López Obrador gets along well with the outgoing US President Trump. In the case of Wikileaks founder Assange, however, opinions are divided. The extradition ban by a London court “disappoints” the USA, Mexico celebrates a “triumph of justice”.

Mexico wants to offer the Wikileaks founder Julian Assange political asylum. In his daily press conference, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said that he would instruct Foreign Minister Marcelo Ebrard to apply to the British authorities. He referred to Mexico’s tradition of offering protection to politically persecuted people. The North American country also ensures that they do not interfere in the affairs of other states.

A court in London rejected Assange’s extradition to the United States on Monday. The judge justified this with the mental health status of Assange and the prison conditions that would await him in the USA.

Andrés Manuel López Obrador wants Julian Assange to be pardoned.

(Photo: REUTERS)

The US accuses the native Australian of stealing and publishing secret material from US military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan together with whistleblower Chelsea Manning – then Bradley Manning. The 49-year-old is said to have put the lives of US informants in danger, according to Washington. The US government was “extremely disappointed” with the decision of the court in London, said the Justice Department in Washington. “We will continue our efforts to extradite Mr. Assange to the United States.” The Wikileaks founder faces up to 175 years in prison if convicted in the USA.

Refuge for leftists

Assange supporters, on the other hand, see him as an investigative journalist who brought war crimes to light. López Obrador called the judgment a “triumph of justice”. He was in favor of a pardon for the Wikileaks founder. The Mexican head of state and government is a left-wing populist and nationalist, who has so far got on well with the outgoing US President Donald Trump.

Mexico has always been a haven for leftists in the past. For example, Spaniards came during the civil war there, including the film director Luis Buñuel, and South Americans came during the military dictatorships of the 1970s. Most recently, at the end of 2019, Bolivia’s ex-president Evo Morales went into exile in Mexico for around a month after his forced resignation.

In 2012, Ecuador granted Assange political asylum. The Wikileaks founder spent seven years at the country’s embassy in London before Ecuador withdrew its asylum offer in 2019. Assange was then arrested and is currently in a UK maximum security prison.

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