Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, known commenly as AMLO, said that the Statue of Liberty in New York City should be removed.
He made the call after the extradition and prosecution of Wikileaks’ Julian Assange.
“We need to start the campaign to remove the Statue of Liberty that the French gave and is in New York because it is no longer a symbol of freedom,” AMLO told reporters at a press conference.
AMLO said that he would be bringing up the issue next time he speaks with US President Joe Biden.
“It’s a matter of humanism,” he said. “If they don’t do it, they will be stained.”
AMLO has been a staunch defender of Assange and the Wikileaks project. He has called Assange the “best journalist of our time” and has called his prosecution an “embarrassment to the world.”
“Mr Assange is wanted by US authorities on 18 counts, including a spying charge, relating to WikiLeaks’ release of vast troves of confidential US military records and diplomatic cables, which Washington said had put lives in danger,” ABC News reports.
He has gone so far as to offer Assange asylum in Mexico, saying “Mexico will open its doors to Assange if it is resolved to free him.”
“There are mechanisms to do it. When I wrote to President Donald Trump [to ask him to exonerate Assange] I remember that he was about to finish his term and in accordance with the laws of the United States, presidents have the power to issue decrees to free prisoners – pardoning is a power of presidents,” he said.
“His crime, in quotation marks, was to report serious human rights violations in the world as well as interference of the United States government in the internal affairs of other countries – that’s what Assange did,” he said.
“A lot of people don’t know that what he did, with an unorthodox investigation, was to gather [diplomatic] cables, reports from United States embassies, that spoke about acts of interventionism and about crimes committed – flagrant violations of human rights, [exposed] not just [in] texts, but [in] images too,” he said, according to Mexico Daily News.