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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange fears assassination attempt

Published 29/08/2015

Julian Assange was granted political asylum by the government of Ecuador under the 1951 Refugee Convention in 2012
Julian Assange was granted political asylum by the government of Ecuador under the 1951 Refugee Convention in 2012

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange fears he may be assassinated if he steps outside the Ecuadorian embassy.

In an interview with The Times Magazine, Mr Assange said he has not had any fresh air or sunlight for three years because it is too dangerous to leave the building.

He told the magazine: "There are security issues with being on the balcony. There have been bomb threats and assassination threats from various people."

Despite believing it is "not likely" that he will be shot, he worries that if he is ever free he could be kidnapped or "droned" by the CIA.

"I'm a white guy," Mr Assange said. "Unless I convert to Islam it's not that likely that I'll be droned, but we have seen things creeping towards that."

Yet, he believes his controversial public figure status has led to "quite a number of threats by unstable people".

The Australian was granted political asylum by the government of Ecuador under the 1951 Refugee Convention in 2012.

He believes he risks extradition to the US from the UK and Sweden, where he is under investigation for his involvement with Wikileaks. He also faces extradition to Sweden for an investigation into an alleged rape.

Over a period of nearly five years, he has been detained without charge in prison, under house arrest and in the embassy, with round-the-clock police guard thought to cost more than £11 million.

Mr Assange believes his situation will be resolved in the next two years, by which point he will have spent five years living in the embassy.

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