France says Assange isn't in danger, denies asylum request

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France Says Assange Isn't in Danger, Denies Asylum Request

Wikileaks founder and editor-in-chief Julian Assange sent an open letter to French President François Hollande asking for asylum, but the request was almost immediately rejected.

The letter was published in French newspaper Le Monde Friday. Assange wrote, "By welcoming me, France would carry out a humanitarian and symbolic gesture, sending encouragement to every journalist and whistleblower."

Assange said his life is in danger, but in its rejection, Hollande's office said, "Mr. Assange's situation presents no immediate danger."

Ecuador granted Assange political asylum in 2012 and he has been living in the country's London embassy for the past three years.

Assange has been accused of sexual assault in Sweden, and there is a warrant for his arrest in Europe, but he has denied the allegations. He says they are part of an attempt to extradite him to the U.S.

Assange says the U.S. wants to charge him for publishing sensitive documents on Wikileaks that were leaked to him by Chelsea Manning, who is in prison for violating the Espionage Act. Assange has not been charged with a crime in the U.S., and there hasn't been an extradition request.

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France says Assange isn't in danger, denies asylum request
A supporter of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange holds a banner outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London as he marks three years since Assange claimed asylum in the embassy on June 19, 2015. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange clocks up three years inside the Ecuadoran embassy in London today, after claiming that Swedish prosecutors cancelled a landmark meeting in his case earlier this week. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
A supporter of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange holds banners outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London as he marks three years since Assange claimed asylum in the embassy on June 19, 2015. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange clocks up three years inside the Ecuadoran embassy in London today, after claiming that Swedish prosecutors cancelled a landmark meeting in his case earlier this week. AFP PHOTO / JUSTIN TALLIS (Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP/Getty Images)
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange makes a speech from the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy, in central London, Britain February 5, 2016. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls/Files
Julian Assange, Founder and Editor-in-Chief of WikiLeaks speaks via video link during a press conference on the occasion of the ten year anniversary celebration of WikiLeaks in Berlin, Germany, October 4, 2016. REUTERS/Axel Schmidt TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange appears on screen via video link during his participation as a guest panelist in an International Seminar on the 60th anniversary of the college of Journalists of Chile in Santiago, Chile, July 12, 2016. REUTERS/Rodrigo Garrido
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