The mother of ‘wanted’ WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange today said she does not want her son to be “hunted down and jailed”, shortly after Interpol issued an arrest warrant against him.

The 39-year-old Australian was added to the Interpol’s “wanted” list for alleged sex crimes committed in Sweden this year as his whistle-blower website continued its U.S. diplomatic cables’ leaks.

His mother Christine Assange, who lives on the Sunshine Coast in Queensland, told ABC Radio she was “very distressed” about the news.

“He’s my son and I love him and obviously I don’t want him hunted down and jailed. I’m reacting as any mother would — I’m distressed,” she said, adding that “a lot of stuff that’s written about me and Julian is untrue.”

She made the remarks when asked whether she had moved to Queensland from Melbourne to escape media attention.

Mr Assange is suspected of rape, sexual molestation and unlawful coercion, after an investigation by Swedish prosecutors into his encounters with two women in Sweden in August.

The arrest request, called a “Red Notice”, is “not an international arrest warrant”, but means that Mr Assange could be arrested and extradited to Sweden from any country if local authorities act on it.

“Many of Interpol’s member countries consider a Red Notice to be a valid request for provisional arrest,” Interpol said on its website.

Mr Assange is contesting the warrant in a Swedish appeals court.

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