On Monday, November 21, Colombian President Gustavo Petro welcomed spokesmen for WikiLeaks on Monday at the Casa de Nariño, with whom he discussed “the risks that exist for democracy and press freedom” if Julian Assange is extradited to the US. At the meeting, Petro promised to “put pressure” on the US government of Joe Biden in defense of Assange. The group Petro met with included the editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, Kristinn Hrafnsson, and the organization’s ambassador, Joseph Farrell.
“They [the Colombian government] have shown a clear commitment to support the fight for Julian Assange’s freedom,” Hrafnsson said, “and [they] strongly recognized the implications for press freedom worldwide that his extradition would set.”
The WikiLeaks editor-in-chief expressed his satisfaction with the results of this meeting, which he described as “very successful,” praising Colombian officials for pledging “to assist in getting other leaders of the region to follow Colombia’s position” in support of Assange.
Hrafnsson pointed out that the Colombian government’s commitment to freedom of expression involves all journalists since Assange’s situation could also affect other communicators around the world.
Assange is indicted in the US for publishing hundreds of thousands of pages of secret military documents and confidential diplomatic cables, released by WikiLeaks, on the country’s activities in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. If convicted, he could face up to 175 years in prison.
Since April 2019, he has been incarcerated in the maximum security Belmarsh prison in the United Kingdom. London has approved the extradition to the US, but the decision was appealed by Assange’s defense.
Translation: Orinoco Tribune
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