Buenos Aires: Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva said on Sunday he is concerned with the future extradition of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange to the United States and urged everyone to protect the journalist.
“I look with concern at the imminent extradition of journalist Julian Assange. Assange has done an important job to denounce the illegal actions of one state against another. His detention goes against the defense of democracy and freedom of the press. It is important that we all mobilize in his defense,” Lula tweeted.
In May, following the coronation of King of the United Kingdom Charles III, Lula called for the early release of the WikiLeaks founder.
Since April 2019, Assange, an Australian citizen, has been held in the high-security Belmarsh prison in London while facing prosecution in the US under the Espionage Act. If convicted, the WikiLeaks founder may get 175 years in prison.
On June 13, he is going to once again appeal to the High Court of London to challenge his extradition to the US, which will be the last effort in the British courts, as further hearings will only be possible in the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR), according to the Reporters Without Borders non-governmental organization. Assange already appealed to the ECHR in December 2022.
WikiLeaks was founded by Julian Assange on October 4, 2006, but rose to prominence in 2010 when it began to publish large-scale leaks of classified government information, including from the United States.