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Mexican president calls for Statue of Liberty to be torn down if Assange sentenced in US

Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador (Amlo) says the Statue of Liberty should be torn down if WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is sentenced in the United States. 

The journalist remains behind bars in Britain’s high-security Belmarsh Prison although he has appealed against last Friday’s decision by Home Secretary Priti Patel that he can face trial in the US. 

Mr Assange faces 175 years in prison there under the draconian Espionage Act after he revealed war crimes committed by Washington in Iraq and Afghanistan. 

Ms Patel dismissed the concerns of lawyers and medics who say his life will be placed at risk should he be extradited.

Last year, Yahoo News published revelations of an alleged CIA plot to kill him on the streets of London. 

Former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who visited Ms Patel in London last week, has been summoned by a Spanish court to explain his role in the alleged plan.

Last month Amlo said Mexico “would open its doors” and offer Mr Assange political asylum if he was released from prison.  

“He is the best journalist of our time in the world and has been very unfairly treated, worse than a criminal,” he said. “This is an embarrassment to the world.”

The Mexican president said at a press conference on Monday that the statue in New York harbour should be taken down if Mr Assange is sentenced by a US court.  

“If he is brought to the US and sentenced to the maximum penalty, to death in prison, it will be necessary to start a campaign to dismantle the Statue of Liberty in New York, donated by the French, because it will no longer be a symbol of freedom,” he said.  

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