WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange made an apparent appeal for asylum in France on Friday — the day of his 44th birthday — only to be immediately rejected by the French government.
In an open letter published by French daily Le Monde, the Australian said that he was “threatened with death” by the United States.
“My life today is in danger, Mr President, and my physical and psychological integrity is … threatened,” the letter said.
“I have five and a half square meters for my private use,” it said. “Access to the open air and sunshine are banned by the United Kingdom authorities.
“I am a journalist prosecuted and threatened with death by U.S. authorities for doing my job,” the letter added.
The request was quickly dismissed by Hollande’s office, which said in a statement that Assange was in no immediate danger.
“A closer examination shows that when taking into account the legal elements and Mr Assange’s situation, France cannot act on his request,” the statement said.
“Mr Assange’s situation presents no immediate danger. He is also the subject of a European arrest warrant.”
WikiLeaks later tweeted that Assange “did not submit an asylum application to France,” and that it was merely an “open letter” to Le Monde, President Hollande, and the public.
The Australian has been holed up the Ecuador’s London embassy for the past three years, as he attempts to dodge extradition to Sweden to face questioning over sex-assault allegations.
He claims the charges are a ruse, and he will be extradited to the U.S. over his involvement in the mass leaking of diplomatic cables.
This story originally appeared on NBCNews.com