Brazilian President Lula da Silva answered a question by a reporter with the Brazilian outlet Diário do Centro do Mundo, on 6 May 2023, about the treatment of Julian Assange.
The left-wing Brazilian president, who has been on a tour meeting European presidents and prime ministers, met king Charles III the day before his coronation as well as UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
An English translation of his response originally delivered in Portuguese is available below the video.
“God bless you for that question, because I think it is shameful — I’m going to talk even in front of the journalists, because that goes for you and it is valid for me — it is shameful that a journalist who reported the misdeeds by one state against others is imprisoned, condemned to die in jail and we do nothing to set him free.
It’s a crazy business.
We talk about freedom of expression and the right to shout; the guy is in jail because he reported wrongdoing. And the press doesn’t do anything in defence of this journalist. I honestly can’t understand it. I can’t understand it.
I even ask forgiveness because I will, I will… when I get to Brazil I will call the [UK] Prime Minister because it was a subject that I forgot to talk to him about.
I’ve sent letters, I’ve published letters, I’ve written an article about Assange. But I think there needs to be a movement in the world press in his defence. The defence of him as a person and in defence of the freedom to report.
The guy didn’t report anything vulgar… The guy reported that there was one state spying on others. […] And this has become a crime against the journalist and the press, that defends freedom of press, does not make a move to free this citizen. It is sad, it’s sad, but it’s true.
We need to put our theories in practice for God’s sake. So that we can continue talking about freedom of expression.”