Julian Assange has been denied asylum by French authorities, despite pleading in an open letter that the United States had “threatened [him] with death.” “My life today is in danger, Mr President, and my physical and psychological integrity is … threatened,” Assange said in a letter published in Le Monde.
According to MSNBC, President Hollande’s office quickly denied Assange asylum. “Mr Assange’s situation presents no immediate danger. He is also the subject of a European arrest warrant,” the statement said. “A closer examination shows that when taking into account the legal elements and Mr Assange’s situation, France cannot act on his request.”
The WikiLeaks Twitter account was quick to note that Assange has not made a formal application for asylum.
Media note: Assange did not submit an asylum application to France. He published an open letter in Le Monde to Hollande and the public.
— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) July 3, 2015
Assange has been living inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London for the past three years, fearing deportation to Sweden over sexual assault allegations. “I have five and a half square meters for my private use,” Assange said. “Access to the open air and sunshine are banned by the United Kingdom authorities.”
The WikiLeaks founder, an Australian national, has refused to appear for questioning in Sweden over fears that the United States will call for his extradition for leaking diplomatic cables. “I am a journalist prosecuted and threatened with death by U.S. authorities for doing my job,” he said.