France will only consider Assange asylum on request

World | 12 Apr 2019 5:21 pm

France’s government says it won’t consider offering Julian Assange political asylum unless he asks for it.

Assange’s French lawyer has appealed to French President Emmanuel Macron to intervene to bring the WikiLeaks founder from a London jail to France and help him avoid extradition to the United States.

Lawyer Juan Branco told The Associated Press yesterday that Macron should offer mediation and to “take this man under our protection.” He said Assange has a small child in France.

France’s secretary of state for European affairs, Amelie de Montchalin, said today on France-Inter radio that while Europe has special measures to protect whistleblowers, France hasn’t received a formal request from Assange. She said “we should listen to what he wants to do” but “we don’t offer asylum to someone who’s not asking for it.”

Macron hasn’t commented publicly.

Assange was arrested yesterday in London and faces U.S. charges related to WikiLeaks’ publication of tens of thousands of classified government documents.-AP

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