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  • Julian Assange has sought refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for three years.

    Julian Assange has sought refuge in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for three years. | Photo: Reuters

Published 29 August 2015

Julian Assange says he rarely makes public appearances due to mounting security concerns.

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange fears kidnapping and assassination, according to an interview published Saturday.

Speaking to the U.K.'s The Times magazine, Assange said he has received threats from “unstable people,” and rarely makes appearances from the Ecuadorean Embassy due to security concerns.

“There are security issues with being on the balcony. There have been bomb threats and assassination threats from various people,” he told the magazine.

Rogue death threats aren't Assange's only concerns. Even if he is eventually able to leave the confines of the embassy, Assange said he fears he could continue to face serious risks for years to come. Although he said it seems unlikely he could be gunned down, he said he hasn't completely ruled out the possibility of being kidnapped by the CIA.

He added, “Unless I convert to Islam it's not that likely that I'll be droned, but we have seen things creeping towards that.”

Assange has been holed up in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since June 2012, when he secured political asylum from Quito after he lost a legal battle against extradition to Sweden.

Ecuador’s Foreign Ministry says Quito has regularly shown it is willing to to facilitate an open and legal process with Sweden.

Asylum was granted given Assange's fears he would be extradited to the U.S. over his role in WikiLeaks and the espionage charges they have against him. Ecuador has repeatedly offered the Swedish authorities the option of entering the embassy to question Assange.

Assange gained international prominence in 2010, when WikiLeaks began publishing thousands of confidential U.S. diplomatic cables, which embarrassed the U.S. government.

RELATED: Assange: 1000 Days in Ecuador’s Embassy

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