Assange Just Doesn't Want to End Up in US

He fears he would face death penalty in America
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 22, 2012 6:25 AM CDT
Julian Assange.   (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth)

(Newser) – As he continues to fight to gain asylum in Ecuador, Julian Assange says he's not trying to dodge questions over sexual assault allegations in Sweden. It's the US he's worried about: If Sweden sends him here, he believes he could face the death penalty, Reuters reports. It's "a very serious matter in the United States," Assange says. "There are subpoenas everywhere," and US authorities have held people at airports, seeking to turn them into informers, he notes.

Assange calls Ecuador "quite supportive" of his plea for asylum. "Now it's a matter of gathering extensive evidence of what is happening in the US and submitting that with a formal request." Australia, meanwhile, has been less than helpful, Assange says, communicating with him only via text message since December 2010. "It is an effective declaration of abandonment." Australian officials disagree. Ecuador's president, for his part, offered some sympathetic words: "We could not allow that a person who has asked for asylum may have to face the death penalty, especially for political crimes," Rafael Correa said. (Read more Julian Assange stories.)

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