France’s government is willing to offer political asylum to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange — if he asks for it.
That’s what Amelie de Montchalin, the country’s Secretary of State for European affairs, told a French radio station on April 12.
“We should listen to what he wants to do,” she said (via NY Post). “We don’t offer asylum to someone who’s not asking for it.”
Julian Assange’s Attorney Has Appealed to French President
As it is, Assange’s attorney, Juan Branco, is French. Branco has already asked French President Emmanuel Macron to get Assange out of jail and bring him to France so he can avoid extradition to the United States.
It’s unclear how moving Assange to France will help, since it has an extradition treaty with the U.S. However, one factor in Assange’s favor is that he has a young child in France.
Julian Assange Was Thrown Into Police Van Like a Sack of Potatoes
Julian Assange is in serious legal trouble. He’s currently being housed in Wandsworth Prison, a 1,628-prisoner facility in London. His next court appointment is May 2, when he attends an extradition hearing.
Assange was arrested on April 11 at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, where he has lived in exile as a political refugee since 2012.
Ecuador abruptly withdrew its asylum protection yesterday, which is how Assange was arrested. A shocking video shows the Australian activist/journalist being forcibly removed from the embassy and thrown into a police vehicle.
Assange, who’s only 47, looked frail and older than his years — no doubt a result of living in confinement in a tiny room for the past seven years.
WATCH: Moment Julian Assange is CARRIED out of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. pic.twitter.com/OEeqmoksGr
— RT UK (@RTUKnews) April 11, 2019
Assange Charge With Conspiracy to Hack Govt Computer
The U.S. Department of Justice has charged Assange with conspiracy to commit computer intrusion for allegedly agreeing to break a password to a classified U.S. government computer.
In a statement, the DOJ said Assange was party to the “largest compromises of classified information in the history of the United States.”
“The indictment alleges that in March 2010, Assange engaged in a conspiracy with Chelsea Manning, a former intelligence analyst in the U.S. Army, to assist Manning in cracking a password stored on U.S. Department of Defense computers connected to the Secret Internet Protocol Network (SIPRNet), a U.S. government network used for classified documents and communications.”
Arrest Has Made Assange a Free-Speech Martyr
Meanwhile, outraged Wikileaks fans have rallied behind Julian Assange, who has emerged as a folk hero and free-speech martyr since his arrest.
“Free Julian Assange… and Chelsea Manning!”
Protesters today marched from the front entrance of the British Embassy to the British Ambassador’s residence to demand Assange receive “safe passage home” rather than extradition to the U.S.#FreeAssange CC: @AssangeMrs pic.twitter.com/zVQyVnuCCP
— Ford Fischer (@FordFischer) April 12, 2019
Fans Send Bitcoin and Money Donations for Legal Defense
Supporters have been donating to his legal defense, both in fiat currency and in bitcoin.
Bitcoin Donations Pour in for Wikileaks After Disturbing Assange Arrest https://t.co/Hw98Wt53tl
— CCN.com (@CCNMarkets) April 12, 2019
While his political enemies are wallowing in schadenfreude, Wikileaks fans are hailing Assange as a fearless journalist who’s being punished for exposing government corruption.
Trump supporters are urging President Donald Trump to step in and help free Assange. Meanwhile, failed Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton cheerfully quipped that Assange “has to answer for what he has done.”