Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden could receive asylum from France. (Photo: Lord Jim/flickr/cc)

French Asylum for Snowden and Assange Would Send 'Clear Message' to US

In response to new revelations that U.S. had spied on French leaders, officials say offering asylum would not be surprising

French Justice Minister Christiane Taubira would "absolutely not be surprised" if whistleblower Edward Snowden and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange received asylum in France.

"It would be a symbolic gesture," Taubira told French news channel BFMTV on Thursday, adding that it would not be her decision to offer asylum, but that of the French Prime Minister and President.

Taubira's statement came in response to a question about recent revelations that the U.S. National Security Agency (NSA) spied on the past three French presidents, which she called an "unspeakable practice."

Snowden currently lives in political asylum in Russia, awaiting an offer of permanent refuge from several other countries, including France. He faces espionage charges in the U.S.

Stop!

We Interrupt This Article with an Urgent Message!

Common Dreams is a not-for-profit news service. All of our content is free to you - no subscriptions; no ads. We are funded by donations from our readers.

Our critical Mid-Year fundraiser is going very slowly - only 1,165 readers have contributed so far. We must meet our goal before we can end this fundraising campaign and get back to focusing on what we do best.
If you support Common Dreams and you want us to survive, we need you now.
Please make a tax-deductible gift to our Mid-Year Fundraiser now!

Assange, who is wanted in Sweden over allegations of sexual assault, has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for the past three years. He has said he fears being extradited to the U.S. if arrested by Swedish authorities.

As the Intercept reported on Thursday, Taubira's comments echo those of the leftist French newspaper Libération, whose editor Laurent Joffrin wrote that France would send "a clear and useful message to Washington, by granting this bold whistleblower [Snowden] the asylum to which he is entitled."

The editorial, entitled "A Single Gesture," calls for France to offer asylum to the "single, courageous man, who has been chased without respite for three years: Edward Snowden, stalked and threatened with life in prison for having told the truth."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.
We need your help.

Support progressive journalism.

Common Dreams is not your average news site. We don't survive on clicks or advertising dollars. We rely entirely on your support. And without it, our independent progressive journalism simply wouldn’t exist. Every gift of every amount matters.

Join the fight and support our common dreams today.

Summit Participants Embrace 'Vaccine Internationalism' to End Pandemic

"Our goal is simple: to end the pandemic as quickly as possible by securing Covid-19 vaccines for all," says the coordinator of Progressive International's four-day virtual summit.

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


As Iran Elects New President, Experts Urge Biden to Rejoin Nuclear Deal, Lift Sanctions

"The Biden administration must remain resolute and seek a break from the disastrous conditions that helped contribute to this result."

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


UN General Assembly Condemns Myanmar Junta Violence, Urges Arms Embargo

Member nations voted 119-1 in favor of the resolution, which also calls for a return to the country's fragile democracy.

Brett Wilkins, staff writer ·


Dems Introduce Abolition Amendment to Scrap Constitution's 'Slavery Clause'

"The loophole in our Constitution's ban on slavery not only allowed slavery to continue, but launched an era of discrimination and mass incarceration that continues to this day," said Sen. Jeff Merkley.

Julia Conley, staff writer ·


'Surreal' and 'Distressing': Climate Experts' Predictions Come True With US Heatwave

"The current heatwave and drought leave no doubt, we are living the dangerous effects of the climate crisis."

Jessica Corbett, staff writer ·