Lula Calls for the Release of WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange

November 29, 2022

photo: Katherine Da Silva

President-elect Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (PT) called for the release of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after meeting with Kristinn Hrafnsson, editor-in-chief of the website, and Joseph Farrell, ambassador of the organization, on Monday , in Brasília.

On his Twitter profile, Lula said he had been informed of Assange’s health situation and the fight for his freedom. “I asked them to send him my solidarity. May Assange be freed from his unjust imprisonment,” he wrote.

Tweet: “I met with @khrafnsson, editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks, and editor Joseph Farrell, who briefed me on Julian Assange’s health condition and the fight for his freedom. I asked them to send him my solidarity. May Assange be released from his unjust imprisonment.”

In a statement, WikiLeaks reported that Lula “has long spoken openly about the illegality of Julian Assange’s detention and the attempted extradition by the United States. At the meeting, President Lula reiterated his continued support for Julian Assange and his desire to see him free.”

Media calls for charges to be dropped

On the same day, some of the world’s leading media outlets called on the U.S. government to drop the charges against Assange. In a letter, they claim that the U.S. lawsuit against the activist infringes on freedom of the press.

“Obtaining and disclosing classified information when necessary for the public interest is an essential part of the daily work of journalists. If this work is criminalized, our public discourse and our democracies will be significantly weaker. Twelve years after the publication of “Cablegate,” it is time for the U.S. government to end the persecution of Julian Assange for publishing secrets. Publishing is not a crime,” they state in their letter.

The document was published by the following media: the British newspaper The Guardian, the American newspaper The New York Times, the Spanish newspaper El Pais, the French newspaper Le Monde and the German magazine and portal Der Spiegel.

The five media published the material – more than 250,000 documents – provided by Wikileaks between 2010 and 2011 on U.S. military abuses in Iraq.


Assange has been charged with 18 counts of espionage against the United States after disclosing classified information about U.S. diplomatic and military activities in 2010. Among the revelations, the WikiLeaks website published a U.S. military torture manual used at the Guantanamo Bay detention center.

Assange also made public the Iraq war casualty record, in which the U.S. admits that 60% of the dead were civilians. One of the leaks that shocked the world the most was the publication of a video in which Iraqis are attacked with guns by a U.S. helicopter on July 12, 2007.

Today Julian Assange has been held in a British prison since 2019, under constant threat of extradition to the United States, where he could be sentenced to serve up to 175 years in prison.

Previously, Assange remained in the Ecuadorian embassy in the United Kingdom from 2012 until 2019, when the Latin American country revoked his asylum and British authorities detained him.

In June this year, UK Home Secretary Priti Patel authorized Assange’s extradition. However, the journalist’s defense has filed an appeal against the extradition, which could be judged at any time.

Source: Brazil de Fato translation Resumen Latinoamericano – US