Published: Tue, October 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Ecuador tells Assange to curb speech, look after cat

Ecuador tells Assange to curb speech, look after cat

However, friends and supporters say Assange fears arrested and eventual extradition to the United States for publishing a cache of USA diplomatic and military secrets on the WikiLeaks website.

Controversial transparency activist Julian Assange will have to adhere to new rules of conduct to regain access to the internet in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, according to an unconfirmed embassy memo leaked on Monday.

Additionally, it requires Assange to submit himself to medical evaluations and to cover the associated costs. Assange was granted political asylum and has been living in the embassy in Mayfair for over six years. But Codigo Vidrio has a track record of publishing inside material from the London embassy, and the restrictions detailed in the memo echo the conditions Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno recently described in an interview with AP.

Editor-in-chief of Wikileaks Kristin Hrafnsson said: "It is positive that, through United Nations intervention, Ecuador has partly ended the isolation of Mr Assange although it is of grave concern that his freedom to express his opinions is still limited".

Tension has always been building between Mr Assange and his hosts, particularly after the Australian ex-hacker began cheering on Catalonian secessionists in Spain previous year.

The Ecuadorian government revoked his internet and phone access in March after he breached an agreement "not to issue messages that might interfere with other states". It was reported in July that Ecuador was in talks with the United Kingdom to expel Assange from the embassy, and that his extradition was all but "imminent".

The alleged plot involved smuggling the WikiLeaks founder in a diplomatic vehicle from the Ecuadorian embassy and moving him to another country by boat or plane.

But the British government refused to give him diplomatic status so the plan was cancelled.

The UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi and UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression David Kaye met with President Moreno and agreed to partially alleviate the ban on communications.

He has said he fears he could be extradited to the U.S. for questioning about the activities of WikiLeaks if he leaves the building.

Moreno said his country will work for Assange's safety and the preservation of his human rights as it seeks a way for him to leave the embassy.

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