World

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange seeks asylum in France; French president says no

  • FILE - In this Aug. 18, 2014, file photo, Ecuador's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino, left, and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speak during a news conference inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has failed in a bid to win asylum in France. Assange wrote a letter to French President Francois Hollande published in Le Monde on Friday, appealing to France's history as a beacon for the repressed. He noted that WikiLeaks recently revealed that the U.S. National Security Agency spied on Hollande and his two predecessors. (John Stillwell/Pool Photo via AP, File)

    FILE - In this Aug. 18, 2014, file photo, Ecuador's Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino, left, and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange speak during a news conference inside the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has failed in a bid to win asylum in France. Assange wrote a letter to French President Francois Hollande published in Le Monde on Friday, appealing to France's history as a beacon for the repressed. He noted that WikiLeaks recently revealed that the U.S. National Security Agency spied on Hollande and his two predecessors. (John Stillwell/Pool Photo via AP, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - This is a Monday, Dec. 5, 2011 file photo of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange pausing as he makes a statement to media gathered outside the High Court in London. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has failed in a bid to win asylum in France. Assange wrote a letter to French President Francois Hollande published in Le Monde on Friday, appealing to France's history as a beacon for the repressed. He noted that WikiLeaks recently revealed that the U.S. National Security Agency spied on Hollande and his two predecessors. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)

    FILE - This is a Monday, Dec. 5, 2011 file photo of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange pausing as he makes a statement to media gathered outside the High Court in London. WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has failed in a bid to win asylum in France. Assange wrote a letter to French President Francois Hollande published in Le Monde on Friday, appealing to France's history as a beacon for the repressed. He noted that WikiLeaks recently revealed that the U.S. National Security Agency spied on Hollande and his two predecessors. (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File)  (The Associated Press)

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has failed in a bid to win asylum in France.

Assange wrote a letter to French President Francois Hollande published in Le Monde on Friday, appealing to France's history as a beacon for the repressed. He noted that WikiLeaks recently revealed that the U.S. National Security Agency spied on Hollande and his two predecessors.

Hollande quickly said "no" to the request. In a statement, his office noted that Assange is under a European arrest warrant and his life is not in imminent danger.

The exchange came after prominent French voices, including soccer legend Eric Cantona and economist Thomas Piketty, appealed for France to grant Assange haven.

Assange is living in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London to avoid extradition to Sweden for questioning about alleged sexual assaults.