Julian Assange has spoken of the risks facing his family, including his young children, as he continues to live a life of exile in Britain.
One hundred days after he entered Ecuador’s embassy in London seeking asylum, the Queensland-born WikiLeaks founder has spoken out about his failing health and concern for his loved ones.
”I took certain risks. If you believe in philosophical or political ideas, you must pay the price and that is OK, but family members, they did not sign up to pay that price, most of all my children,” Mr Assange, 41, told The Mail on Sunday.
‘Right-wing bloggers in the US have called for them to be targeted to force us to stop publishing.
”They want to use my son as leverage against us. It is a significant, ongoing problem.”
Thought to be the father of a boy and younger girl, Mr Assange will not reveal details of his children amid concerns for their welfare.
”I raised my eldest son as a single father for more than 14 years in Australia,” he said. ”I was a busy father but not an absent one. I have not seen any of my children since before I was under house arrest.”
Mr Assange denies claims by two women of sexual assault, which led to his arrest in Sweden in December 2010. While he has confirmed having consensual sexual relations with the pair, he did not go into detail about the allegations which form the basis of a Swedish extradition order. Sweden says he is wanted for questioning in the matter.
”It does not do for a gentleman to complain,” Mr Assange said simply in response to the allegations.
Having exhausted British legal avenues of appeal against Sweden’s extradition request, Mr Assange turned to Ecuador in June.
While the Latin American nation has granted Mr Assange diplomatic asylum, he cannot leave their London headquarters because he is subject to arrest on British soil.
While he tries to maintain a healthy diet and exercises daily under the direction of a personal trainer, Mr Assange admits his detention is taking a toll. AAP