Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's father John Shipton, who is in Brazil promoting a movie on his son, has thanked the South American country for standing in favor of the journalist’s release, Agência Brasil reported.
The documentary Ithaka shows Shipton’s efforts to free his son, imprisoned in England since 2019. In an exclusive interview with TV Brasil, Shipton said he has been fighting vigorously against the possibility of Assange’s extradition to the US, which he described as a “death sentence.”
The documentary, Shipton said, aims to show what governments can do to censor the press. “Seeing this in the documentary arms us for future confrontations. It gives us tools to help governments understand there are other ways to govern a country.”
In Shipton's view, Assange’s imprisonment violates press freedom around the world. “What journalist wants to spend 14 years in prison and millions of dollars paying lawyers for his freedom? Journalism is under pressure all over the world,” he declared.
Assange was arrested in England in 2019 after seven years in exile at the Ecuadorian embassy. The activist is accused by US courts of 18 crimes, including espionage, due to the publication in 2010 of over 700 thousand classified documents on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. If found guilty, he could face up to 175 years in prison.
Shipton thanked the Brazilian government for supporting Assange. In May this year, Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva said in London that the journalist’s continued imprisonment was “shameful.”
Assange’s father met Tuesday with Presidential Press Secretary Paulo Pimenta, who wrote on social media that President Lula was sensitive to the cause and is one of Assange’s main supporters.
“We reaffirm our government’s commitment to his and Assange’s struggle and our commitment to freedom of expression. We stand for those who have the courage to seek a better world,” Pimenta wrote.
(Source: Agência Brasil)