Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva took the stage at the 78th United Nations (UN) General Assembly on Tuesday to underline the necessity of preserving press freedom. In his address, he specifically mentioned Julian Assange, stating that the journalist should not be punished for his profession.
“Preserving press freedom is essential. A journalist, like Julian Assange, cannot be punished informing society in a transparent and legitimate way,” Lula said during his address to the UNGA session.
This is not the first time Lula has shown support for Assange. Previous efforts include advocating for the WikiLeaks founder during his legal battles, with many Brazilians calling for their country to grant asylum to the troubled whistleblower.
“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 crazy,” Lula told reporters in May. “Assange is in prison because he denounced wrongdoing. And the press doesn’t do anything in defence of this journalist. I can’t understand it,” he added.