Julian Assange

Julian Assange
Assange in 2014
Julian Paul Hawkins

(1971-07-03) 3 July 1971 (age 47)
Alma mater
  • Editor
  • programmer
  • politician
Years active1987–present
Known forFounding WikiLeaks
Home townMelbourne, Australia
TitleDirector and editor-in-chief of WikiLeaks
Political party
Criminal statusConvicted of failure to surrender to the court
Under arrest by the Metropolitan Police Service in London.
Teresa Doe
(m. 1989; div. 1999)
Partner(s)Sarah Harrison
(esp. 2009; sep. 2012)
AwardsFull list
Julian Assange Autograph.svg

Julian Paul Assange (ʒ/;[1] born Julian Paul Hawkins; 3 July 1971) is an Australian journalist, computer programmer, and the founder and director of WikiLeaks.[2] Assange describes himself as an advocate of information transparency and market libertarianism.[3] Assange founded WikiLeaks in 2006, an international publishing organisation known for revealing war crimes, human rights abuses, and corruption. 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),[4][5] 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 and asked allied nations for assistance.[6]

In November 2010, Sweden issued an international arrest warrant for Assange,[7] after questioning him months earlier about allegations of sexual assault and rape.[8] Assange denied the allegations, and said that 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.[9][10] Swedish prosecutors later suspended their investigation and applied to revoke the European arrest warrant in May 2017.[11] Assange surrendered to UK police on 7 December 2010 but was released on bail within 10 days. Having been unsuccessful in his challenge to the extradition proceedings, he breached his bail in June 2012 to seek asylum from Ecuador.[12] He was granted asylum by Ecuador in August 2012 and remained in the Embassy of Ecuador in London for almost seven years.[13] In 2017, the London Metropolitan Police indicated that an arrest warrant was in force for Assange's failure to surrender himself to his bail, even though the original Swedish allegations had been dropped.[14]

During the 2016 U.S. 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.[15] 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.[16] In 2018, twelve Russian intelligence officers, mostly affiliated with the GRU, were indicted on criminal charges by Special Counsel Robert Mueller; the indictment charges the Russians with carrying out the computer hacking and working with WikiLeaks and other organisations to spread the stolen documents.[17] 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] He faces up to a year in jail for breaching bail in 2012, and his alleged rape victim's lawyer is attempting to have Sweden reopen its investigation.[22]

Early life, family, and education

Julian Paul Hawkins was born on 3 July 1971 in Townsville, Queensland,[23][24] to Christine Ann Hawkins (b. 1951),[25] a visual artist,[26] and John Shipton, an anti-war activist and builder.[27] The couple separated before their son was born.[27]

When Julian Hawkins was a year old, his mother married Richard Brett Assange,[28][29][30] an actor, with whom she ran a small theatre company and whom Assange regards as his father (choosing Assange as his surname).[31] The surname Assange is a Westernization of the Chinese name Au Sang, from a Taiwanese man who married a Torres Strait Islander woman on Thursday Island.[32] His mother had a house in Nelly Bay on Magnetic Island, where they lived from time to time until it was destroyed by fire.[33]

Christine and Brett Assange divorced about 1979. Christine Assange then became involved with Leif Meynell, also known as Leif Hamilton, a member of Australian cult The Family, with whom she had a son before the couple broke up in 1982.[23][34][35] Assange had a nomadic childhood, and had lived in over thirty[36][37] Australian towns and cities by the time he reached his mid-teens, when he settled with his mother and half-brother in Melbourne.[28][38]

He attended many schools, including Goolmangar Primary School in New South Wales (1979–1983)[31] and Townsville State High School,[39] as well as being schooled at home.[29] He studied programming, mathematics, and physics at Central Queensland University (1994)[40] and the University of Melbourne (2003–2006),[28][41] but did not complete a degree.[42]

While in his teens, Assange married a woman named Teresa, and in 1989 they had a son, Daniel Assange, now a software designer.[28][42][43] The couple separated and initially disputed custody of their child.[29] Assange was Daniel's primary caregiver for much of his childhood.[44] Assange 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 that his family had faced death threats and harassment because of his work, forcing them to change identities and reduce contact with him.[45]

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
Basa Jawa: 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