Published: Mon, October 22, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Julian Assange launches legal action against Ecuador

Julian Assange launches legal action against Ecuador

"Ecuador's measures against Julian Assange have been widely condemned by the human rights community".

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange presented a protection action through his lawyers against the Ecuadorian government on Friday, accusing it of violating his fundamental rights and freedoms.

The protocol declared that Ecuador will not be responsible for Assange's statements or views and that any breach of the rules will bring about the "termination of asylum".

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

Julian Assange sought refuge at the Ecuador Embassy in Knightsbridge in June 2012, having lost an appeal against extradition to Sweden for questioning on allegations of rape and sexual assault that went to the Supreme Court.

Ecuadorian President Lenin Moreno has said Assange's asylum deal can not be eternal.

The move comes several months after Ecuador cut off communications for Australian Assange, who has been living inside the country's embassy in London for over six years.

Assange believes he would be handed over to the United States to face prosecution over WikiLeaks' publication of hundreds of thousands of classified military and diplomatic documents.

In a statement, Wikileaks questioned the legality of the "Special Protocol" laid out to Assange by Ecuador, which was reported earlier this week and "makes Assange's political asylum contingent on censoring his freedom of opinion, speech, and association".

Protesters and supporters holding banners that read "Free Assange" outside the Ecuadorean Embassy in London.

It also outlined basic housekeeping rules - namely that he should clean his own bathroom and take proper care of his pet cat.

In July, Ecuador's president Lenín Moreno said the whistleblower must leave the embassy eventually.

That protocol requires journalists, lawyers and others meeting with Mr Assange to disclose details including social media usernames and the serial numbers of phones and tablets with Ecuador, which can than share the information "with other agencies".

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.

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