Sweden Denies Residency Permit to WikiLeaks Founder

Swedish Migration Board declines to explain decision to turn down application by Julian Assange, who has made his base in the country.

STOCKHOLM - Sweden denied a work and residency permit on Monday for Julian Assange, founder of the WikiLeaks website that angered the United States by releasing classified U.S. military documents about the Afghan war.

Assange has been establishing a base in Sweden in order to benefit from the Nordic country's strict journalist protection laws. He is also being investigated over rape allegations in Sweden, which he has denied, calling them baseless.

Julian Assange Stockholm August 2010 AP
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange in Stockholm, Sweden in August 2010.AP

"The board today rejected Assange's application for a work and residency permit," said Hakan Gestrin, a spokesman at the Swedish Migration Board. He gave no reason for the rejection of the permit, citing confidentiality rules.

Assange, an Australian citizen, can appeal the decision within three weeks.

The Pentagon said on Sunday it had a 120-member team ready to review an expected leak this month by the whistle-blowing WikiLeaks of as many as 500,000 Iraq war documents. WikiLeaks released some 70,000 U.S. military files on Afghanistan in July.