After a U.K. judge ruled Sunday that Julian Assange can’t be extradited to the U.S., one country stepped forward to say they may be willing to take him in: Mexico. On Monday, Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said he’d be in favor of granting the WikiLeaks founder political asylum. “Assange is a journalist and deserves a chance, I am in favor of pardoning him,” he said, according to Reuters. “We’ll give him protection.”
Assange was facing prosecution under the U.S.’s Espionage Act for publishing covert documents and videos through WikiLeaks, most notably the 2010 “Collateral Murder” video, which showed U.S. troops killing Iraqi civilians, as well as the emails of Democratic Party officials leading up to the 2016 election. In their ruling, the U.K. court said Assange should not be extradited because of his risk of suicide.
López Obrador has granted asylum to political enemies of the United States in the past, most notably former Bolivian President Evo Morales following a 2019 U.S.-backed coup. President-elect Joe Biden previously called Assange a “high-tech terrorist” in 2010, according to The New York Times.