Published: Mon, October 22, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange sues Ecuador for 'violating his rights'

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange sues Ecuador for 'violating his rights'

Despite giving him political asylum, Ecuador's embassy has issued an increasing number of rules for Mr Assange to follow.

The embassy cut Assange's internet access in 2018 following his comments on the Skripal poisoning case.

The protocol also requires journalists, his lawyers and anyone else seeking to see Julian Assange to disclose private or political details, such as their social media usernames, the serial numbers and codes of their phones and tablets, with Ecuador - which the protocol says the government may "share with other agencies".

WikiLeaks said its legal counsel Baltazar Garzon would launch a legal case against the government for "violating (Assange's) fundamental rights and freedom".

Julian Assange, a cyber-hero to some or a criminal who undermined the security of the West by exposing secrets, is living at Ecuador's embassy in London under worsening conditions to avoid arrest.

At the time, Assange sought refuge after Sweden wanted to extradite him for an ongoing probe into an alleged sexual assault case.

WikiLeaks said that United States congressmen had written an open letter to Ecuador's president, Lenin Moreno, saying that in order to advance "crucial matters. from economic co-operation to counternarcotics assistance, to the possible return of a USAID mission to Ecuador, we must first resolve a significant challenge created by your predecessor, Rafael Correa - the status of Julian Assange".

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Garzon says the rules were drawn up without consulting Assange and that Assange wants them changed.

That case has since been dropped but Assange fears being extradited to the United States to face charges over the WikiLeaks website's release of troves of sensitive USA government files.

In a memo, it threatened to confiscate the pet if he did not look after its "wellbeing, food and hygiene".

Assange's lawyers question the legality of this protocol, which, according to the statement, makes "Assange's political asylum depend on the censorship of his freedom of opinion, expression and association".

A protocol governing Assange's stay at the embassy - revealed by Ecuadoran internet site Codigo Vidrio and never denied by Quito - warns that further breaches will lead to "termination of asylum".

However, earlier this week it said it would be partially restored.

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