“You cannot underestimate the importance of President Lula’s contribution to Julian,” said John Shipton, father of Assange, founder of the WikiLeaksa Opera Mundi this Monday (28/08), when asked about the importance of a possible political asylum in Brazil for the Australian journalist, who fights against extradition to the United States.

“In London, a few weeks ago, at a press conference, President Lula raised the issue of Julian Assange and questioned why the press has been reluctant to pursue Julian’s case,” Shipton said during a press conference at Petra Belas. Arts, in São Paulo.

On the occasion, the Brazilian representative spoke about the “shame” of Assange still being arrested “condemned to die in jail”, criticizing the press and its lack of actions for the freedom of the journalist.

The president believes that despite writing to the journalist and writing articles in support of his case, there is a need for “a worldwide press movement” in his favor.

Mentioning the Latin American community and its support for Assange’s case, Shipton recalled the positive statements coming from the President of Mexico, Andrés Manuel López Obrador; from Argentina, Alberto Fernández; and from Colombia, Gustavo Petro. Assange’s father also recalled similar statements coming from the former president of Brazil, Dilma Rousseff, current president of the New Development Bank (NDB, for its acronym in English).

“The Latin American community has been relentless in its support of Julian Assange over the last 14 years. As Julian’s father and family, we thank you,” concluded Shipton.

Assange’s health, US election agenda and alternative media

Shipton mentioned during the press conference that his last visit to Assange was in October 2022, but he intends to return to the UK to visit him in the next two months.

“His physical condition is what you would expect after 14 years in prison. His mental condition is deplorable after what UN rapporteurs have described as unusual punishments and torture,” mentions Shipton of his son’s situation.

He recalled that in 2019, two doctors specializing in the results of psychological torture visited Assange in Berlmarsh prison and concluded that the journalist is experiencing “a murder in slow motion before our eyes”.

Also questioned about the former president of the United States, Donald Trump, being an ally of Assange due to old statements about a possible pardon for the journalist in 2020, Shipton recalled that Trump’s son, considered a spokesman for some issues of his presidential campaign, went so far as to confirm his father’s “kindness” in the Assange matter,

Shipton also mentions that, on the Democratic side, pre-candidates for the presidency of the United States, such as Robert Kennedy Jr., Cornel West and Marianne Williamson, have alluded to granting freedom to Assange if elected. Thus, he recognizes that Julian has become an agenda for the US elections, which will take place in November 2024.

The journalist’s father also spoke about the importance of alternative media outlets for the Assange case, stating that traditional and hegemonic media have realized that they are no longer so important. “Now, the public’s interest is in alternative media, the ‘truth media’, which are extremely stimulating” and mirror the quality of Julian’s work and the WikiLeaks.

Dissemination of documentary and visit to Brazil

Shipton is in Brazil promoting the documentary ithaka: a luta de Assange. In addition to São Paulo, Assange’s father has already been to Porto Alegre and Rio de Janeiro, and he still has an agenda in Recife, to gather support against his son’s extradition to the United States.

The film, which hits Brazilian theaters through distributor Pandora Filmes on August 31, tells the story of the Australian journalist, currently held in the maximum security prison Belmarsh, in the United Kingdom, for his investigative work. WikiLeaks.

Founded in 2006, the site publishes information and documents relevant to the public interest on sensitive matters, but which are being kept confidential. Assange is currently facing accusations from the US government for having made public US military documents about his war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Source: www.brasildefato.com.br

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