Jailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange awarded keys to Mexico City as family lobbies for his release – ABC News

Jailed WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange awarded keys to Mexico City as family lobbies for his release
The family of Julian Assange has accepted the keys to Mexico City on behalf of the imprisoned WikiLeaks founder, as they continue to campaign for his freedom.
Mr Assange remains in London's Belmarsh Prison pending an appeal against his extradition to the United States.
He has been indicted on 17 espionage charges in the US and one charge of computer misuse, relating to WikiLeaks' publication of thousands of classified documents more than a decade ago.
Mr Assange's father and brother, John and Gabriel Shipton, have travelled to Mexico – where the country's president has been a long-time supporter of the Australian.
"The Mexican President López Obrador has written multiple times to Joe Biden, calling for the prosecution against Julian to be dropped," Gabriel Shipton told the ABC.
"He has also offered Julian asylum in Mexico.
"He met with [US] Secretary of State [Antony] Blinken a couple of days ago, and also in that meeting discussed Julian's freedom and how to get Julian out of prison."
Gabriel Shipton said the ceremonial gesture of awarding Mr Assange the keys to the city was a "surprise" and he was "blown away" by the support for his brother in Mexico.
Mr Assange has been in British custody since being expelled from the Ecuadorian embassy in London in 2019.
The WikiLeaks founder could face a 175-year prison sentence if extradited to the US and convicted of the charges.
His family is continuing to pressure Prime Minister Anthony Albanese to intervene in the case.
"There's this expectation in the electorate in Australia that Anthony Albanese, the Prime Minister, is going to actually do something to end Julian's persecution," Mr Shipton said.
"I'm beginning to sense that there's a bit of disappointment after a hundred days of government that the Albanese Government hasn't been able to act to free Julian."
Gabriel Shipton said he wanted to see the case resolved and his brother freed before the end of the year.
"If the Australian government can manage that, I think that would be a Christmas miracle for us," he said.
"We take a lot of energy from the growing wave of support around the world for Julian's freedom."
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