WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has spent the last three years in an Ecuadorian embassy located in London, and it looks like he may not be leaving in the near future.

 

On Friday, French newspaper Le Monde published an open letter wrote by Assange to President Francois Hollande, who is hoping for asylum in France.

 

Assange’s letter stated that “only France now has the ability to offer me the necessary protection against, and exclusively against, the political persecution that I am currently the object of.” Hollande made a statement refusing asylum to Assange soon after the letter was published.

 

“A deep examination found that given the judicial elements and the material situation of Mr. Assange, France cannot follow through on his request,” said Hollande.

 

 

Julian Assange stands in front of many news cameras

Julian Assange has lived the last three years in an embassy out of fear of political prosecution. (arstechnica.com)

Assange has spent the last few years in the embassy to avoid being extradited to Sweden for the alleged sexual assault of two women. His main concern is that the extradition to Sweden will lead to prosecution in the United States.

 

This worry stems from WikiLeaks releasing classified U.S. documents to the public. Now, Assange believes he will face serious charges in the United States over the leaks if he doesn’t receive asylum.

 

In his letter to Hollande, he referred to himself as a “journalist pursued and threatened with death by the United States’ authorities as a result of my professional activities.”

 

Assange has since claimed that his letter to President Hollande wasn’t a request for asylum. The director of Assange’s defence team, Baltasar Garzon, has stated that the letter was written to show he was willing “to be hosted in France if and only if an initiative was taken by the competent authorities.”

 

The letter may not have been an official request for asylum, but he believed that France was the only country with the ability to protect him from political persecution. If Assange can’t find a country to take him in, he will have to live out his life in the embassy or face his charges in Sweden.

 

Will Assange find asylum elsewhere or will he eventually face extradition? Leave a comment or talk to me on Twitter @Karbowski_Devon.