Mexican President Calls for the Freedom of Julian Assange

In the post-national West, traditional civil liberties like free speech are largely treated like afterthoughts. 

The case of Julian Assange is rather telling. At the moment, Assange is rotting in a prison cell in the United Kingdom as he waits to be extradited to the United States for his alleged violation of the U.S. Espionage Act. 

As Tyler Durden of ZeroHedge noted, these charges stem from Assange’s “receipt and publishing of vast troves of classified American government documents.” Durden expanded on what Assange’s leaks did to the ruling class:

 Among many other embarrassing disclosures, the files revealed previously undisclosed civilian casualties of the war in Iraq.  

On July 1, 2022, Assange appealed the British government’s extradition decision to the High Court. PEN International, a worldwide association of writers, criticized the way the US government’s has handled the case in the following statement:

“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.” 

This assault on free speech has not gone unnoticed. In fact, it’s not just independent journalists and watchdog groups who have expressed their concerns about Assange’s imprisonment and subsequent trial in the US. 

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador (AMLO) asserted that if Julian Assange is convicted in the US, the Statue of Liberty should be taken down, per a report by the Mexico Daily Post

Durden noted that during a press conference at the National Palace, AMLO urged for the “most important press in the world”, which included 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.”  

AMLO added:

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.

AMLO vowed to speak to American President Joe Biden in private about Assange’s case. AMLO stated the following: “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.” 

As Durden noted, AMLO has previously extended an olive branch to Julian Assange by stating he would be keen on granting Assange humanitarian asylum and Mexican citizenship. 

AMLO has also used the Statue of Liberty in a metaphorical sense to demonstrate how far the US has fallen in terms of its respect for civil liberties.

When Big Tech titans deplatformed former President Donald Trump back in January 2021, AMLO opined on the matter. He stated, “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.”

AMLO can be quite the contrarian when it comes to criticizing the West’s foreign policy overreach.

Back in June, AMLO described the proxy war that NATO was prosecuting against Russia in Ukraine as “immoral.” AMLO said, “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.”

AMLO’s comments are great for a head of state. However, this writer believes that Mexico has much more pressing problems to address such as its cartel violence and its precarious border situation with the US. The fight for Assange’s freedoms will ultimately have to be sorted out by freedom fighters in the Anglosphere. 

Nevertheless, it’s good to see a head of state stand up for the civil liberties of one of the most important journalists of the 21st century. Hopefully, more world leaders start growing a pair and stand up for Assange’s freedoms. In a world of never-ending fake news, Assange shines as one of the few truth purveyors. 

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