London: The father of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange said on Friday that he was worried about his son’s safety and was concerned that his son might die in prison after nine years of “persecution” for daring to reveal US “war crimes”.
John Shipton, Assange’s father told reporters in Geneva that he had visited his son in a British prison two days ago and needed to “face the bitter truth” that he “may die in jail”. Assange used WikiLeaks to publish classified military and diplomatic files in 2010 about US bombing campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq that proved highly embarrassing to the US government.
Since then, he has been entangled in a web of judicial proceeding, and is currently fighting a US bid to extradite him from Britain on charges filed under the Espionage Act that could land him a sentence of up to 175 years in US prison.
The 48 year old whistleblower is currently being held at a top-security British prison since April after police sensationally dragged him out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London.