Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Picture: REUTERS/EDGARD GARRIDO
Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. Picture: REUTERS/EDGARD GARRIDO

Mexico City — Mexico’s government is ready to offer political asylum to Julian Assange and supports the decision of a British judge to deny extradition of the WikiLeaks founder to the US, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador has said.

“I’m going to ask the foreign minister ... to ask the government of the UK about the possibility of letting Mr Assange be freed and for Mexico to offer political asylum,” López Obrador told a regular news conference.

“Assange is a journalist and deserves a chance; I am in favour of pardoning him,” he said. “We’ll give him protection.”

The extradition request from the US, where Assange could face charges including breaking a spying law, was denied on the basis that Assange’s mental health problems put him at risk of suicide, a British court ruled.

López Obrador, who called the decision a “triumph of justice”, a year ago urged Britain to release Assange, calling his detention “torture” and saying WikiLeaks documents had showed the world’s “authoritarian” workings.

Assange has spent most of the past decade either in prison or self-imposed confinement, following his release of thousands of secret classified files and diplomatic cables that caused embarrassment to many governments around the world.

López Obrador, a leftist who took office in December 2018, has long railed against ruling elites and has rhetorically sought to break with establishment politics and economics. 


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