Julian Assange

Julian Assange
Assange in 2014
Julian Paul Hawkins

(1971-07-03) 3 July 1971 (age 48)
  • Editor
  • Programmer
Years active1987–present
Known forFounding WikiLeaks
TitleDirector[citation needed] and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks (until September 2018); publisher (since September 2018)[1]
Political party
Criminal statusSentenced to good behaviour bond and reparations in 1996 for 24 hacking offences. Sentenced to 50 weeks in prison, on 1 May 2019, for breaching bail.[2]
Teresa Doe
(m. 1989; div. 1999)
Partner(s)Sarah Harrison
AwardsFull list
Julian Assange Autograph.svg

Julian Paul Assange (ʒ/;[4] Hawkins; 3 July 1971) is an Australian editor, publisher and activist who founded WikiLeaks in 2006. WikiLeaks came to international attention in 2010 when it published a series of leaks provided by Chelsea Manning. These leaks included the Collateral Murder video (April 2010),[5][6] the Afghanistan war logs (July 2010), the Iraq war logs (October 2010), and CableGate (November 2010). After the 2010 leaks, the United States government launched a criminal investigation into WikiLeaks.[7]

In November 2010, Sweden issued an international arrest warrant for Assange,[8] after questioning him months earlier about allegations of sexual assault.[9][10] Assange denied the allegations, and said they were just a pretext for him to be extradited from Sweden to the United States because of his role in publishing secret American documents.[11][12] Assange surrendered to UK police on 7 December 2010 but was released on bail within ten days. Having been unsuccessful in his challenge to the extradition proceedings, he breached his £340,000 bail[13] in June 2012 to seek asylum from Ecuador.[14] In August 2012, Assange was granted asylum by Ecuador due to fears of political persecution and possible extradition to the United States.[15] He remained in the Embassy of Ecuador in London for almost seven years.[16]

During the 2016 US Democratic Party presidential primaries, WikiLeaks hosted emails sent or received by candidate Hillary Clinton from her private email server when she was Secretary of State.[17] The U.S. Intelligence Community, as well as a Special Counsel investigation, concluded that the Russian government carried out a hacking campaign as part of broader efforts of interference in the 2016 United States elections. In 2018, twelve Russian intelligence officers, mostly affiliated with the GRU, were indicted on criminal charges by Special Counsel Robert Mueller; the indictment charged the Russians with carrying out the computer hacking and working with WikiLeaks and other organisations to spread the stolen documents. Assange consistently denied any connection to or co-operation with Russia in relation to the leaks, and accused the Clinton campaign of stoking "a neo-McCarthy hysteria".[18][19][20]

On 11 April 2019, Assange's asylum was withdrawn following a series of disputes with the Ecuadorian authorities. The police were invited into the embassy, and he was arrested.[21] Later that day he was found guilty of breaching the Bail Act and on 1 May 2019 he was sentenced to 50 weeks in prison in the United Kingdom.[22] On the same day, the United States government unsealed an indictment against Assange for alleged computer intrusion, related to the leaks provided by Chelsea Manning. On 23 May 2019, the United States government further charged Assange with violating the Espionage Act of 1917. Editors from newspapers including The Washington Post and The New York Times criticised the government's decision to charge Assange under the Espionage Act.[23][24] As a result of the revocation of his asylum, and at the request of his alleged rape victim's lawyer, Swedish prosecutors reopened their investigation in May 2019.[25] Assange is incarcerated in HM Prison Belmarsh.

Early life, family, education

Assange was born Julian Paul Hawkins on 3 July 1971 in Townsville, Queensland,[26][27][28] to Christine Ann Hawkins (b. 1951),[29] a visual artist,[30]:34 and John Shipton, an anti-war activist and builder.[31] The couple separated before their son was born.[31]

When Julian was a year old, his mother married Brett Assange,[32][33][34] an actor with whom she ran a small theatre company and whom Julian regards as his father (choosing Assange as his surname).[35] Christine had a house in Nelly Bay on Magnetic Island, where they lived from time to time until it was destroyed by fire.[27]

Christine and Brett Assange divorced about 1979. Christine then became involved with Leif Meynell, also known as Leif Hamilton, a member of Australian cult The Family, and they had a son before breaking up in 1982.[26][36][30]:37–38 Julian had a nomadic childhood, living in over 30[37][38] Australian towns and cities by the time he reached his mid-teens, when he settled with his mother and half-brother in Melbourne.[32][39]

Assange attended many schools, including Goolmangar Primary School in New South Wales (1979–1983)[35] and Townsville State High School in Queensland[40] as well as being schooled at home.[33] He studied programming, mathematics and physics at Central Queensland University (1994)[41] and the University of Melbourne (2003–2006),[32][42] but did not complete a degree.[43]

While in his teens, Assange married a woman named Teresa. In 1989 they had a son, Daniel, now a software designer.[32][43][44] The couple separated and initially disputed custody of their child.[33] At this time, Julian's brown hair turned white.[26] Julian was Daniel's primary caregiver for much of his childhood.[45] Julian has other children; in an open letter to then-French president François Hollande, he stated that his youngest child lives in France with his mother. He also said his family had faced death threats and harassment because of his work, forcing them to change identities and reduce contact with him.[46]

Other Languages
Afrikaans: Julian Assange
Alemannisch: Julian Assange
Ænglisc: Julian Assange
العربية: جوليان أسانج
asturianu: Julian Assange
azərbaycanca: Culian Assanj
Bân-lâm-gú: Julian Assange
беларуская: Джуліян Асанж
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Джуліян Асанж
भोजपुरी: जुलियन असांज
Bikol Central: Julian Assange
български: Джулиан Асанж
bosanski: Julian Assange
čeština: Julian Assange
Ελληνικά: Τζούλιαν Ασάνζ
español: Julian Assange
Esperanto: Julian Assange
français: Julian Assange
hrvatski: Julian Assange
Bahasa Indonesia: Julian Assange
íslenska: Julian Assange
italiano: Julian Assange
Kapampangan: Julian Assange
Kiswahili: Julian Assange
lietuvių: Julian Assange
lumbaart: Julian Assange
македонски: Џулијан Асанж
მარგალური: ჯულიან ასანჟი
مازِرونی: ژولین آسانژ
Bahasa Melayu: Julian Assange
Nederlands: Julian Assange
norsk nynorsk: Julian Assange
پنجابی: جولین اسانج
Plattdüütsch: Julian Assange
português: Julian Assange
română: Julian Assange
Simple English: Julian Assange
slovenčina: Julian Assange
slovenščina: Julian Assange
Soomaaliga: Julian Assange
српски / srpski: Џулијан Асанж
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Julian Assange
татарча/tatarça: Джулиан Ассанж
Türkçe: Julian Assange
українська: Джуліан Ассанж
Tiếng Việt: Julian Assange
粵語: 阿桑奇