Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador has reiterated his offer for asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, currently waiting to be extradited to the United States after a UK court ruled in favour of an appeal by Washington, Sputnik reported. "We are ready to offer asylum to Assange,” Lopez Obrador said during a press conference. “We think that the US government should act humanely. Assange is sick and it would be a show of solidarity, brotherhood to allow him to have asylum in a country, in which Assange will decide to live, including in Mexico," Obrador continued in his speech.
In December, Washington won an appeal for Wikileaks founder's extradition in a London's High Court as a judge ruled that the 50-year-old Assange, wanted in the US over criminal charges of ‘espionage’ shall be handed over to the US as the country had given ‘assurances’ for Assange’s safety. Assange, via his company WikiLeaks published thousands of documents revealing military secrets and war crimes committed by American troops in Afghanistan and Iraq during their deployment. If put on trial and convicted in Washington, the Australian journalist will face up to 175 years in prison. Defenders argue that Julian Assange’s persecution by the United States, for “telling the truth,” and his extradition is an attempt to silence the voice, and will have detrimental effects on journalism and for the media worldwide.
The media mogul has reportedly been suicidal and suffering from mental health deterioration as he is held at the high-security Belmarsh Prison in the UK. He had also recently suffered a stroke resulting in drooping right eyelid, memory lapse, and other neurological damages. Washington, however, pledged not to hold the WikiLeaks founder in a so-called "ADX" maximum-security prison in Colorado, UK’s final court of appeal stated. Assange will most likely be transferred to Australia to serve the sentence, it had announced.
WikiLeaks’ founder Assange faces 18 counts for the public release of vast troves of confidential, sensitive, and declassified US Army data, largely linked with Washington’s military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, which the United States argues caused national security concerns. But opposing the extradition, his lawyers had argued that he would be at a "very high" suicide risk if he were extradited as his mental health had declined and the latter complained of hearing imaginary voices, was suicidal, and suffering from "severe depression”.