Brazil’s Lula Calls for Julian Assange’s Freedom

While in London for the coronation of King Charles III, the Brazilian president called for a movement by the world press to free the journalist.

U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak with Brazil’s President Lula da Silva at 10 Downing Street on May 5. (Lauren Hurley / No 10 Downing Street)

By Common Dreams Staff

Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio “Lula” da Silva has called for freedom for Julian Assange and denounced the lack of concerted efforts to free the journalist.

Lula spoke to a group of reporters in London Saturday while in town to attend the coronation of King Charles III.

Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, has spent four years in Britain’s Belmarsh Prison while fighting extradition to the United States.

“It is an embarrassment that a journalist who denounced trickery by one state against another is arrested, condemned to die in jail and we do nothing to free him. It’s a crazy thing,” Lula told reporters. “We talk about freedom of expression; the guy is in prison because he denounced wrongdoing. And the press doesn’t do anything in defense of this journalist. I can’t understand it.”

“I think there must be a movement of world press in his defense. Not in regard to his person, but to defend the right to denounce,” Lula told the reporters. “The guy didn’t denounce anything vulgar. He denounced that a state was spying on others, and that became a crime against the journalist. The press, which defends freedom of the press, does nothing to free this citizen. It’s sad, but it’s true.”

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said on Friday he too was frustrated over the continued detention of Julian Assange: “enough is enough.”

“I know it’s frustrating, I share the frustration,” Albanese told the Australian Broadcasting Corp. from London for the coronation of King Charles III.

“I can’t do more than make very clear what my position is, and the U.S. administration is certainly very aware of what the Australian government’s position is. There is nothing to be served by his ongoing incarceration.”

“Enough is enough, this needs to be brought to a conclusion, it needs to be worked through,” said Albanese.

Assange has battled for years to avoid being sent to the U.S., where the journalist faces 17 charges of espionage because of WikiLeaks’ publication of a trove of classified documents in 2010.

U.S. prosecutors allege he published 700,000 secret classified documents which exposed the United States government and its wrongdoings in Iraq and Afghanistan. WikiLeaks received the documents from Chelsea Manning.

Albanese said Australians cannot understand why the U.S. would free the source who leaked the documents, Chelsea Manning, while Assange still faces life in prison.

President Joe Biden has been accused of hypocrisy for demanding the release of journalists around the world, while he actively seeks the extradition of Assange to face American espionage charges.

[Related: US Officials Confronted on Assange Hypocrisy]

Assange faces a sentence of up to 175 years in a maximum security prison if extradited to the United States.

This article is from  Common Dreams.

The views expressed in this article and may or may not reflect those of Consortium News.

5 comments for “Brazil’s Lula Calls for Julian Assange’s Freedom

  1. Juan M Escobedo
    May 10, 2023 at 13:07

    Lula was calling the”so called MSM journalists”,hypocrites and cowards,right to their faces…Viva Lula and Julian Assange…

  2. Andrew Nichols
    May 8, 2023 at 20:01

    Albo equivocates. Lula gets straight to the point. One a vassal leader. the other the leader of an independent nation.

    • WillD
      May 9, 2023 at 23:35

      I couldn’t agree more. Lula calls it as it is, very clearly. Albanese, however, just uses weasel words.

  3. mgr
    May 8, 2023 at 19:45

    Bravo! This while the leaders of the world’s so-called leading democracies stand mute.

    What they lose most of all before the world is their moral authority. The hypocrisy simply cancels it out. The effect is like radiation poisoning, which never leaves but continues to poison and wear you down until you die. I honestly don’t think the spectacle that the Western alliance, or “Western pole,” is putting on in their tactic collusion with the persecution and murder of Julian Assange, which elegantly demonstrates the sham of their democracies, is ever going to wash away. The stain simply continues to build with each atrocity. All against the backdrop of a new Cold War and a horrific tragedy in Ukraine. And all of which bears the imprint of the Western “rules based order” trying to preserve its privileged status. This is how the mighty fall. It’s always by their own hands, by their own sordid choices.

    • Valerie
      May 9, 2023 at 03:03

      Well said mgr. “By their own hands, by their own sordid choices”.

      ¡Viva Lula!


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