Brazilian president defends WikiLeaks

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  • December 9, 2010

By Maira Magro

Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva harshly criticized the arrest of Julian Assange, founder of the WikiLeaks website that has been releasing a cache of 250,000 secret diplomatic cables. According to Terra, the president if the first international leader to speak out against the arrest of Assange, who was wanted on rape charges in Sweden. “The guy was only publishing that which he read. And if he read it, it's because someone else wrote it. The blame doesn't belong to who released it, the blame is with who wrote it," Lula said, as quoted by Dow Jones newswire. "So, WikiLeaks, my solidarity for disclosing [the documents] and my protest against the siege against freedom of expression."

Lula also criticized the media for not coming to the defense of the Australian hacker: “Until now I have seen no protests en defense of freedom of expression," EFE quoted him as saying.

The president also called for a declaration of solidarity with Assange to be posted on the presidential blog. The president concluded: “The people have to defend freedom of expression."

Note from the editor: This story was originally published by the Knight Center’s blog Journalism in the Americas, the predecessor of LatAm Journalism Review.