Latin America & Caribbean

Wikileaks founder 'fears for safety of family'

Julian Assange speaking to the media at the Ecuadorean embassy in London. 19/06/2014 Image copyright PA
Image caption Wikileaks facilitated the leaking of thousands of secret American documents

The founder of the Wikileaks website Julian Assange says he fears for the safety of his family.

Speaking at the Ecuadorean embassy in London, Mr Assange said unspecified individuals had made threats against his children and his mother.

He complained that he has been unable to see them in four years.

Mr Assange took refuge at the Ecuadorean embassy two years ago to avoid extradition to Sweden.

The authorities in Stockholm want to question him over allegations by two women of sexual assault.

Mr Assange said he would remain in the embassy until the impasse over his future was broken.

He said his lawyers had advised him there was still a "serious risk" he would be extradited to the United States if he gave up political asylum.

"It would be foolish to relinquish my asylum in light of what happened to Chelsea Manning," he said.

Chelsea Manning, an American soldier formerly known as Bradley, has been sentenced to 35 years in prison in the US for passing thousands of secret documents to the Wikileaks website.

The leaks caused intense embarrassment of the US and other governments.

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