France rejects asylum request from WikiLeaks' Assange

President's office says WikiLeaks founder did not face "immediate danger", in response to Assange's request for asylum.

    Julian Assange faces allegations by two women of rape and sexual assault, which he denies [AP]
    Julian Assange faces allegations by two women of rape and sexual assault, which he denies [AP]

    The French government has rejected an asylum request from WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, saying he did not face "immediate danger".

    In a letter to the French President, Assange described himself as a "journalist pursued and threatened with death by the United States' authorities as a result of my professional activities".

    He asked in the letter, published on Friday in Le Monde newspaper, to be granted asylum by France.

    Hours later, the office of President Francois Hollande responded in a statement that read: "France cannot act on his request".

    "The situation of Mr Assange does not present an immediate danger. Furthermore, he is subject to a European arrest warrant," Hollande's office said.

    Assange, who turned 44 on Friday, has spent over three years holed up in Ecuador's embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faces allegations by two women, one of rape and one of sexual assault, which he denies.

    The former computer hacker fears extradition to Sweden could lead to him being transferred to the US to face trial over WikiLeaks' publication of classified US military and diplomatic documents.

    SOURCE: AFP


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    Survivor stories from Super Typhoon Haiyan

    The Philippines’ Typhoon Haiyan was the strongest storm ever to make landfall. Five years on, we revisit this story.

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    How Moscow lost Riyadh in 1938

    Russian-Saudi relations could be very different today, if Stalin hadn't killed the Soviet ambassador to Saudi Arabia.

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    We Are Still Here: A Story from Native Alaska

    From Qatar to Alaska, a personal journey exploring what it means to belong when your culture is endangered.