The Mexican government on Monday offered to manage political asylum for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange after British justice refused to extradite him to the United States to be tried for the publication of hundreds of thousands of secret documents.
“I am going to ask the foreign secretary to do the appropriate paperwork to ask the UK government for the possibility of Mr. Assange being released and For Mexico to offer him political asylum,” President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said at his regular morning press conference.
Read: Legality tips in the case of Julian Assange (and for Mexico of refilon)
López Obrador said that Mexico offers asylum with protection but also with “the responsibility to ensure that the recipient of the asylum does not intervene or interfere in political matters of any country”.
Earlier, British justice rejected Assange’s extradition to the United States by considering that if he did, he could commit suicide.
Here are five things to know now that the Mexican government offered help to wikileaks founder.
10 million documents
WikiLeaks was unveiled in 2009 with the publication of hundreds of thousands of locator messages sent to the United States on September 11, 2001.
The NGO, founded in 2006 by Julian Assange, with crypting technology, allows compromising documents to be put online without being identified.
He then released a video showing the brutality of the U.S. military in Iraq and thousands of military documents about Afghanistan.
On November 28, 2010, WikiLeaks published, with the help of five major international newspapers (The New York Times, The Guardian, Der Spiegel, Le Monde, El País), more than 250,000 secret documents revealing the ins and outs of American diplomacy. After this cablegate, Julian Assange became the number one enemy in the United States.
In total, the portal claims to have published “more than 10 million documents” on finance, entertainment or politics.
In its inception, WikiLeaks, the result of international collaboration between mathematicians, especially Chinese dissidents, had in its sights repressive regimes in Asia, the former Soviet bloc, sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East. But most of the revelations were to the detriment of the United States and often for Russia’s benefit.
This country is suspected of being behind the U.S. Democratic Party’s internal post disclosure, published by WikiLeaks in the summer of 2016. The portal also revealed U.S. espionage to allies such as the French president or the German chancellor.
WikiLeaks is also accused of endangering people whose identity it reveals in the name of transparency.
Over the years, various media and personalities have taken their distance, although Assange claims to work with “more than 110 media organizations” in the world.
It is difficult to dissociate WikiLeaks from its Australian founder, a genius persecuted for some and a paranoid manipulator for others.
Following the arrest warrant issued by Sweden in 2010 as part of a rape investigation, Assange took refuge in 2012 at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.
Detained at the chancellery for nearly seven years and nationalized Ecuador, he was eventually detained by British police following the change of power in Quito.
Although the rape complaint has been filed, the United States claims Assange’s extradition for the publication of thousands of confidential documents. Judge Vanessa Baraitser of the London criminal court dismissed the US order on Monday, January 4.
Manning and Snowden
The “cablegate” would not have been possible without transgender US military officer Chelsea Manning, who sent More than 700,000 confidential documents to WikiLeaks. In August 2013, she was sentenced to 35 years in prison by a court-martial.
She was released seven years later thanks to Barak Obama’s pardon, but was arrested again in March 2019 because she refused to testify in an investigation into WikiLeaks.
Read: How Signal works, the ultra-secure messaging service used by Edward Snowden
Another informant, Edward Snowden, former employee of the National Security Agency (NSA) author of the revelations about mass surveillance programs, also had active support from WikiLeaks even though he did not choose this portal for his reporting. Julian Assange recommended that he go into exile in Moscow to escape American justice.
Hollywood took over the WikiLeaks phenomenon with the film Bill Condon “The Fifth Power” (2013). A documentary presented at the Cannes film festival in 2016, “Risk” laura Poitras, also focuses on the portal.
In fact, Julian Assange played his own role in an episode of the Simpsons and inspired a character from Asterix’s 36th album, “Caesar’s Papyrus”.
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