Christine Assange

Christine Assange, the mother of WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange, appealed to British Authorities on Friday to be “patient, gentle and kind” to her son.

Assange is fighting a bid to extradite him from Britain to the United States.

Christine also backed an online petition to free her 47-year-old son, highlighting long-term health concerns after he spent seven years inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London until police arrested him on Thursday.

She tweeted “a mother’s plea to police, prison officers, court staff re my son Julian.”

She said Australian citizen Assange had been “detained without charge” for eight years; deprived of fresh air, sunlight and exercise for six years; and spent three years “sick in pain and denied proper medical, dental care.”

“Please be patient, gentle and kind to him,” she added.

The petition was launched by U.S. actress Pamela Anderson, who befriended Assange during visits to him at the embassy.

The petition was signed by 36,000 people, it urged the Australian government to help free Assange “before it’s too late.”

Assange, whose relationship with his hosts had become increasingly frayed, was dragged out of the embassy on Thursday after Quito revoked his asylum status and allowed police to enter the building.

The Metropolitan Police said he was arrested for skipping bail, adding later that he was “further arrested on behalf of the United States authorities.”

The U.S. Justice Department announced that it has charged Assange for conspiring with former U.S. military intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning to leak a trove of classified material in 2010.

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