Founder of WikiLeaks suffers: Mom

Founder of WikiLeaks suffers: Mom

QUITO, Ecuador - The Associated Press
Founder of WikiLeaks suffers: Mom

Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino (R) looks on as Christine Assange (L), mother of Wikileaks' founder, Julian Assange, shows a picture of his son as a child. EPA photo

The mother of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said July 30 after meeting with Ecuador’s foreign minister that she’s worried about her son’s health after nearly seven weeks’ confinement at the South American nation’s London embassy.

“He is under a lot of stress and it’s been long-term stress now for nearly two years and in conditions which are similar to detention,” Christine Assange said.

Christine Assange was asked if Ecuador would grant asylum to her son if it is unable to secure guarantees from Sweden and Britain that he will not be extradited to the U.S. “I don’t know,” she said in an interview. She said she speaks to her son about every 10 days, and they don’t much discuss his day-to-day life. “We are also aware that our phones are being monitored and do not wish to talk about personal matters,” she said.

Her son took refuge in the embassy on June 19, requesting political asylum after exhausting all legal appeals to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning about sexual misconduct allegations.

Julian Assange, who angered U.S. officials by publishing secret U.S. diplomatic cables and military documents, calls the accusations trumped up and says he fears Sweden will extradite him to the U.S. for trial.

Ecuadorean officials have said they will not announce a decision on the asylum request until after the London Olympic Games end in mid-August. Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said his country is doing “everything possible to protect the life of Mr. Assange.”

“For that reason we are engaged in conversation with the Swedish and government and also with Great Britain before speaking to the U.S.,” he added.