If WikiLeaks editor Julian Assange is prosecuted for espionage in the US for the crime of exposing Hillary Clinton and publishing classified documents that exposed wrongdoing, then the Statue of Liberty should be dismantled, according to Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador.
Speaking about Assange’s plight on the 4th of July, the Mexican president said that Assange’s prosecution raises concerns about freedom of the press, in the same way that President Trump’s deplatforming by social media companies meant freedom of speech in America is under peril, reports the Mexico Daily Post.
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Assange is currently imprisoned by the United Kingdom pending an extradition to the United States on charges under the U.S. Espionage Act. Those charges relate to his receipt and publishing of vast troves of leaked classified government documents. Among many other embarrassing disclosures, the files revealed the nefarious dealings of Hillary Clinton and her Democratic associates, as well as previously undisclosed civilian casualties of the war in Iraq.
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“Julian Assange’s prosecution raises profound concerns about freedom of the press. Invoking the Espionage Act for practices that include receiving and publishing classified information sends a dangerous signal to journalists and publishers worldwide.”
Zero Hedge report: Speaking at a press conference at the National Palace, López Obrador called for the “most important press in the world” — including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Financial Times and Mexico’s El Pais — to “convene a meeting…to exhort, request, call, so that a pardon be granted to Assange.”
“If they don’t do it, they will be tarnished and we will have to start the campaign that, if they take him to the US, and sentence him to the maximum sentence [to] die in prison, they will have to dismantle the Statue of Liberty that the French delivered…because it is no longer a symbol of freedom.“
López Obrador pledged to make his own personal appeal. “I want to state that I am going to ask President Biden to address this matter. I am aware that it goes against the severe hardliners that exist in the United States as in all countries, but humanism must also prevail,” he said.
He has previously indicated his willingness to grant Assange humanitarian asylum and Mexican citizenship.
It’s not the first time López Obrador has invoked the Statue of Liberty in criticizing political conditions in the United States.
Referring to social media firms de-platforming then-sitting U.S. president Donald Trump in January 2021, he said, “I don’t know if you’ve noticed that since they took these decisions, the Statue of Liberty in New York is turning green with anger, because it doesn’t want to become an empty symbol.”
A consistent Western gadfly, in June López Obrador condemned NATO’s “immoral” proxy war against Russia in Ukraine. “How easy it is to say, ‘Here, I’ll send you this much money for weapons.’ Couldn’t the war in Ukraine have been avoided? Of course it could…’I’ll supply the weapons, and you supply the dead.’ It is immoral.”