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Mexico prepared to offer Assange asylum

Mexico prepared to offer Assange asylum
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Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said on Monday that he is prepared to offer asylum to WikiLeaks founder Julian AssangeJulian Paul AssangeAssange, Snowden among those not included on Trump pardon list Trump grants clemency to more than 100 people, including Bannon Pardon talk intensifies as Trump approaches final 24 hours in office MORE.

“Assange is a journalist and deserves a chance. I am in favor of pardoning him,” Lopez Obrador said during a news conference, Reuters reported“We’ll give him protection.”

“I’m going to ask the foreign minister ... to ask the government of the United Kingdom about the possibility of letting Mr. Assange be freed and for Mexico to offer political asylum,” added López Obrador.

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Reuters reports that the Mexican president praised Assange for revealing the world's "authoritarian" workings, noting that López Obrador has long sought to break from establishment politics and economics.

Earlier Monday, a U.K. judge denied a request to extradite Assange to the U.S., where he faces espionage charges after publishing classified military and intelligence documents.

"I find that the mental condition of Mr. Assange is such that it would be oppressive to extradite him to the United States of America,” said Judge Vanessa Baraitser in her decision. The judge added that she was concerned Assange was at risk of committing suicide.

U.S. officials are planning to appeal Baraitser's decision.

Assange had been sequestered at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London until 2019 when he was evicted and arrested.