Brazilian President says Assange's imprisonment is an 'embarrassment'
Brazil's President Lula da Silva denounces the lack of effort, across the global stage, to support freedom of speech.
During his visit to London to attend King Charles III's coronation, Brazilian President Lula da Silva criticized the lack of efforts, on the global stage, to free WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and demanded his immediate release.
“It is an embarrassment that a journalist who denounced trickery by one state against another is arrested, condemned to die in jail, and we do nothing to free him. It’s a crazy thing,” Lula told reporters, adding, “We talk about freedom of expression; the guy is in prison because he denounced wrongdoing. And the press doesn’t do anything in defense of this journalist. I can’t understand it.”
Da Silva had also called the UK's decision to imprison Assange "shameful" given that he had not "exposed anything vulgar" but rather he exposed something much more significant: state surveillance.
After having returned from the UK to Brazil, Lula announced that he will hold a phone call with UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak in order to discuss the topic further after he explained, "It was a subject I forgot to talk to him about."
Assange invites King Charles to Belmarsh prison to mark coronation
Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, invited UK's Monarch King Charles III to pay him a visit at the Belmarsh prison in London, which has been holding the journalist in captivity for the past 4 years, to celebrate his coronation scheduled for May 6.
The Australian activist published a letter on the Declassified UK website, titled 'A Kingly Proposal: Letter from Julian Assange to King Charles III' where he satirically congratulated the British sovereign on his upcoming coronation.
"To His Majesty King Charles III. On the coronation of my liege, I thought it only fitting to extend a heartfelt invitation to you to commemorate this momentous occasion by visiting your very own kingdom within a kingdom: His Majesty’s Prison Belmarsh," the letter stated.
He pointed out the expansion of prisons in the UK where the "prison population from 82,000 to 106,000 within the next four years," adding that the country is host to the largest amount of prisoners in Western Europe.
Assange further shed light on the poor conditions British prisoners deal with on a daily basis, "During your visit, you will have the opportunity to feast upon the culinary delights prepared for your loyal subjects on a generous budget of two pounds per day. Savour the blended tuna heads and the ubiquitous reconstituted forms that are purportedly made from chicken."
According to the world-renowned journalist, prisoners in Belmarsh "dine alone in their cells, ensuring the utmost intimacy with their meal," Assange mockingly revealed.
The WikiLeaks founder has been held in Belmarsh prison since 2019, where he witnessed the death of his fellow inmate, kept captive just "eight yards from my cell using a crude rope fashioned from his bedsheets."
Read more: Commonwealth natives call on the UK King to denounce colonial past