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SYDNEY (Reuters) - WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange told his mother from his prison cell in London that he remained committed to publishing secret U.S. cables, despite condemnation from Washington and elsewhere, Australian television reported Tuesday.
Australia's Network Seven asked Christine Assange to ask her 39-year-old son one question during a visit to his London jail: Was it worth it?
"My convictions are unfaltering. I remain true to the ideals I have expressed. This circumstance shall not shake them," said Assange, according to his mother who supplied the network with a written statement of her son's answer.
"If anything this process has increased my determination that they are true and correct."
WikiLeaks has provoked fury in Washington with its publications of secret U.S. cables and has vowed to make public
the 250,000 embassy documents it had obtained.
Assange is under arrest in Britain over sexual assault charges in Sweden.
Assange was also critical of the major finance companies who suspended payments to his WikiLeaks site.
"We now know that Visa, Mastercard, Paypal and others are instruments of U.S. foreign policy. It's not something we knew before," he said.
"I am calling for the world to protect my work and my people from these illegal and immoral attacks."
Internet activists launched "Operation Payback" to avenge WikiLeaks against those perceived to have obstructed its operations. They temporarily brought down the websites of credit card firms Visa and MasterCard, as well as that of the Swedish government, last week.
Christine Assange told her son there was worldwide support for him.
"I told him how people from all over the world, all sorts of countries were standing up with placards and screaming out for his freedom and justice and he was very heartened by that," she said. "As a mother I am asking the world to stand up for my brave son."
Lawyers for Assange will try again Tuesday to win bail for the WikiLeaks founder. Assange was accused this year of sexual misconduct by two female Swedish WikiLeaks volunteers during a stay in Sweden. Assange denies the allegations.
Assange and his lawyers have voiced fears that U.S. prosecutors may be preparing to indict him for espionage after the WikiLeaks website published secret U.S. documents.
Reporting by Michael Perry