Mum fears assassination of WikiLeaks son

By Kieran Campbell of Sunshine Coast Daily

The mum of WikiLeaks creator Julian Assange fears her son may be assassinated for leaking hundreds of thousands of secret US government documents.

Christine Assange, who lives near Noosa on Queensland's Sunshine Coast, told the Sunshine Coast Daily she felt the same way the mother of a soldier would feel about her son's work.

A warrant has been issued by Interpol for Mr Assange's arrest this week after he started publishing more than 250,000 classified documents, which are said to detail international security secrets.

Mrs Assange moved to the Coast five weeks ago and said she was worried for her son, who is believed to be in hiding in London.

"I am concerned for his welfare in the same way that a soldier's mum would be worried," she said.

"The work he's doing is dangerous for him.

"I have to live with the fact that that phone call that comes in could be the one.

"At the same time I'm happy that he's doing something he believes in.

"The fact that Julian is famous is absolutely irrelevant to me."

Mr Assange has come under fire from international leaders, including US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Prime Minister Julia Gillard.

His mum, who runs a puppet theatre based at Noosa Heads, said she thought of her son as "brave".

"I would say that he has my admiration and I am overwhelmed by his knowledge and his tenacity and his ability and his courage to stand up against huge forces.

"It makes me happy as a mother to see my child stand up for what he believes in and something that he loves doing."

Media from around the world have been calling Mrs Assange.

One female journalist even posed as a mother with two children wanting to book Mrs Assange for a party.

She has also received calls from people all over the world who support her son's work.

"I haven't had one phone call against it, it's all been support," Mrs Assange said.

Mrs Assange, who does not own a computer, said she did not read everything that was written about her son but was troubled by the intense media scrutiny.

"Of course it bothers me. It bothers Julian.

"He's not actually a media-type person. He only ever went out there because someone had to be the spokesperson.

"He's not a person who seeks the limelight and never has been.

"He would like the focus put on WikiLeaks, not on his personal life, and to discuss these leaks and the positives and negatives of them and what it means for the world and individuals involved."

Mr Assange, 39, was born in Townsville and was an above-average student.

He was 13 when his mum bought him his first computer.

As an inquisitive teenager, Mr Assange taught himself "machine code" and started creating programs before he was 20.

Mrs Assange left Melbourne to move to the Coast because of her ailing health.

She was constantly battling chest infections when she lived in the Victorian capital.

She knew no one on the Coast but fell in love with the area during a holiday six months ago.

"I love the Sunshine Coast and everything about it. The climate, the people; the people have been very nice to me here, I would never return to live in the city," she said.

- Sunshine Coast Daily

Your views

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n1 at 17 Sep 2014 05:38:33 Processing Time: 456ms