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HindustanTimes Thu,17 Apr 2014

No request from Assange for asylum: India

PTI  New Delhi, June 13, 2013
First Published: 19:36 IST(13/6/2013) | Last Updated: 20:35 IST(13/6/2013)

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has never requested for asylum in India, government said on Thursday, rebutting his claim that he had written to external affairs ministry through the Indian high commissioner in London.

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"We have checked our records and we cannot find any reference to Julian Assange seeking asylum. I don't know, whether he did it through social media or what? Certainly he has not made any request that we are aware of," top government sources said in New Delhi.

Assange, holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in London since June 19, 2012, was quoted as saying in an interview in a newspaper that India was among the first countries he had approached for asylum but he never heard back.

"I was disappointed and saddened that India, known for upholding human rights, never got back despite several requests by me for asylum. Indians are also great supporters of WikiLeaks. I therefore contacted the foreign office through the Indian high commissioner. I wrote to them but they never responded," Assange was quoted as saying by the paper.

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