The decision of the British government to approve the extradition of Julian Assange to the United States to face espionage charges caused repudiation and outrage in different parts of the world. From Brazil the former president Lula da Silva condemned the process and demanded the freedom of the WikiLeaks founder. In France, the leader of the left of that countryJean-Luc Mélenchonpromised that if he becomes prime minister he will give Assange French citizenship . And in Great Britain International Amnesty (AI) said the Boris Johnson government’s decision sends a “chilling message” to the world.
The former Brazilian president spoke through social networks. “Assange is a hero of press freedom and he should be free. The persecution against him, his imprisonment and the threat of extradition should outrage all democrats in the world,” said the former president, the top favorite for the 2022 presidential elections in Brazil.
The leader of the Workers’ Party (PT), the largest progressive platform in Latin America, stated that Assange “he did not commit any crime”, but he practiced journalism by “revealing important information for the world”. “He should be released, have the charges against him dropped and be allowed to live in peace after years of unjust imprisonment,” Lula added.
melenchon affirmed that if he obtains the majority necessary to be prime minister in the next legislative elections, he will be granted French nationality journalist Julian Assange. The leader’s statements come a few hours after the end of the campaign for the second round of the elections in France and in reaction to the British government’s decision to extradite the WikiLeaks founder to the United States.
“If I am prime minister on Monday, Mr. Julian Assange, I think he has applied, he will be naturalized as a French citizen and we will ask that he be evacuated to our country.”, affirmed the leader of the leftist coalition NUPES at a press conference in Paris. The front that brings together socialists, communists, environmentalists and Mélenchon’s left-wing La France Insumisa (LFI) movement was just a few votes short of reaching the Ensemble! (Together) by President Emmanuel Macron.
The father and brother of the WikiLeaks founder hailed Mélenchon’s promise. “I think there is a great chance of stopping this extradition. We have a lot of support among European nations,” he said. Gabriel Shipton, Assange’s brother, at a press conference with his father John Shipton in front of the British consulate in Manhattan. It is not the first time that the French politician has expressed his support for the Australian programmer and journalist. In November last year he asked France to grant asylum and citizenship to Assange.
AI warned that the decision puts the journalist at risk. Its general secretary, Agnes Callamard, he regretted the decision, warning that “allowing Julian Assange to be extradited to the United States would place him at great risk and send a chilling message to journalists around the world.”
He also pointed out that “If extradition proceeds, Amnesty International is extremely concerned that Assange faces a high risk of prolonged solitary confinement, which would violate the prohibition against torture or other humiliating treatment.”
Amnesty noted that “diplomatic assurances provided by the United States that Assange will not be placed in solitary confinement cannot be taken seriously given his previous record.” Faced with this possibility, Callamard added, “We call on the UK to refrain from extraditing Julian Assange, for the US to drop the charges, and for Assange to be released.”.