Mexican president renewed asylum offer for Assange in letter to Biden

·1 min read
FILE PHOTO: Biden meets with Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador at the White House in Washington

(Reuters) - Mexico's President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador said on Monday he gave a letter to U.S. President Joe Biden where he defended Julian Assange's innocence and renewed a previous offer of asylum to the WikiLeaks founder.

The United Kingdom last month approved Assange's extradition to the United States to face criminal charges relating to WikiLeaks' release of confidential U.S. military records and diplomatic cables.

"I left a letter to the president about Assange, explaining that he did not commit any serious crime, did not cause anyone's death, did not violate any human rights and that he exercised his freedom, and that arresting him would mean a permanent affront to freedom of expression," Lopez Obrador said in a regular news conference.

Lopez Obrador earlier this year said that he also offered asylum to Assange in a letter to then-U.S. President Donald Trump before he left office and again at the beginning of Biden's presidency in 2021.

Last month Lopez Obrador called Assange "the best journalist of our time."

(This story corrects spelling in 2nd paragraph to say "United States," not "United Station")

(Reporting by Aida Pelaez Fernandez and Lizbeth Diaz; Writing by Brendan O'Boyle)

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