Lula and John Shipton. father of journalist and founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange Photo: Ricardo Stuckert/ PR

President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva celebrated, this Tuesday (25), the release of journalist and founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange. On social media, the Brazilian president classified the fact as “a democratic victory and the fight for press freedom”.

“The world is a little better and less unfair today. Julian Assange is free after 1,901 days in prison. His release and return home, albeit belatedly, represent a democratic victory and the fight for press freedom”, he published on X, the former Twitter.

The journalist is expected to plead guilty this Wednesday (26), in a court in the Northern Mariana Islands, to violating US espionage law, in a deal that will end his imprisonment in the UK and allow him to end his odyssey and return to home in Australia.

Under the agreement, in an American court on the island of Saipan, he will plead guilty to conspiracy to obtain and disseminate US national defense information.

The brother of the founder of Wikileaks, Julian Assange, also thanked authorities who spoke in support of the journalist, including President Lula. Gabriel Shipton told British broadcaster Sky News that personalities such as Pope Francis and the Brazilian president were decisive in Assange’s release.

“I have been working in Washington, at conferences advocating for Julian’s release, for the last three or four years. Winning Julian Assange’s freedom has been a global effort, and it’s to everyone’s credit,” thanked Shipton.

“From the Pope, who defended Julian, President Lula, of Brazil, the Australian Prime Minister, everyone was part of this global effort,” said Assange’s brother.

Lula was one of the biggest activists for the release of the journalist, persecuted by the United States courts for revealing more than 700,000 documents in which the country disrespected human rights in the war in Iraq and Afghanistan, in addition to violating national sovereignty.

In May, faced with the possibility of Assange’s extradition, the Brazilian president asked for his release.

“Julian Assange, the journalist who should have won the Pulitzer Prize for revealing secrets of the powerful, has instead been imprisoned for 5 years in England, condemned to the silence of the entire press that should be defending his freedom as part of the fight for freedom of expression. I hope that the persecution against Assange ends and he returns to the freedom he deserves as soon as possible”, he posted on Twitter.

In September 2023, during his speech at the opening of the 78th United Nations Assembly, in New York, United States, Lula reiterated his support for the Australian, stating that he “cannot be punished for informing society in a transparent and legitimate way”.

“It is essential to preserve freedom of the press. A journalist, like Julian Assange, cannot be punished for informing society in a transparent and legitimate manner,” declared the Brazilian.


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