France rejects asylum request by Assange

PARIS (Reuters) - France swiftly rejected on Friday a request for asylum by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

The founder of the transparency website had appealed directly to President Francois Hollande, days after Wikileaks published documents showing the United States had spied on successive French leaders, including Hollande himself.

"My life is in danger," Assange wrote in a letter to the Socialist president which was published by Le Monde newspaper. "France is the only country that can offer me the necessary protection against ... the political persecutions I face."

Assange has been living for the past three years in Ecuador's London embassy, where he took refuge to avoid extradition to Sweden over alleged sex crimes.

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