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9 Dec, 2023 22:46

Father of American journalist jailed in Ukraine blames Biden

Gonzalo Lira Sr. has claimed that Washington was complicit in the detention of his son for criticizing Kiev
Father of American journalist jailed in Ukraine blames Biden

The administration of US President Joe Biden was complicit in the arrest of an American journalist who has been jailed and tortured in Ukraine for criticizing the Kiev government, the father of Gonzalo Lira has claimed. He believes his son may have sealed his fate when he also spoke out against Washington.

Gonzalo Lira was apprehended by Ukrainian authorities for the third time in August while trying to escape to Hungary after being released on bail. The Chilean-American writer had repeatedly criticized the government of Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky, arguing that Kiev had provoked its conflict with Russia and had no chance of winning.

“This that is happening to my son, he’s a victim of this Biden government and his relation with that puppet Zelensky,” Gonzalo Lira Sr. said on Saturday in an interview with US journalist and political commentator Tucker Carlson. “Zelensky is a man that has made opponents, political opponents, disappear.”

The 80-year-old father said his son had bravely reported on about a dozen Zelensky opponents who had been “disappeared.” The younger Gonzalo Lira also predicted correctly that the Russian economy would be relatively unscathed by Western sanctions and that NATO members would suffer a boomerang effect from their efforts to arm Ukraine and punish Moscow.

However, it was only after the blogger sharply criticized Biden and US Vice President Kamala Harris that he was arrested for a second time in May, Gonzalo Lira Sr. told Carlson.

“Isn’t it odd that four days later, after condemning Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, Gonzalo was arrested?” the father asked. “Why was he not detained earlier? When he was let go the previous year, he continued the same criticism against the war.” He added, “The USA government, with its silence in the face of this scandalous incident, suggests a degree of complicity, or at least tacit approval of Gonzalo’s arrest.”

Lira contrasted the Biden administration’s “conspicuous lack of response” to his son’s arrest to Washington’s aggressive efforts to secure the release of Evan Gershkovich, a Wall Street Journal reporter who was arrested in Russia on espionage charges in March.

The younger Lira is relying on a court-appointed Ukrainian attorney who speaks no English for his legal defense. Just before being captured in August, he warned his audience that if he failed to get safely into Hungary and be granted political asylum, he would likely die in a Ukrainian labor camp.

Gonzalo Lira Sr. has called his son a political prisoner and has argued that his case illustrates the absurdity of US claims that the world must defend “freedom and democracy” in Ukraine. “If we are going to protect democracy in the world, let’s start by taking out that puppet called Zelensky,” he said.

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