Published: Sun, October 21, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Julian Assange sues asylum host Ecuador for violating his 'fundamental rights'

Julian Assange sues asylum host Ecuador for violating his 'fundamental rights'

Assange's stay has become an increasing annoyance for Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno, who has said the asylum can not be eternal but has been reluctant to push him out of the embassy on concern for his human rights.

Julian Assange today launched a case accusing the government of Ecuador of violating his fundamental rights and freedoms.

Assange's lawyer Baltasar Garzon said the demands regarding the cat are "denigrating". It is due to be heard in a domestic court next week.

Wikileaks claim Mr Assange's access to the outside world has been "summarily cut off" and say Ecuador has threatened to remove the protection he has had since being given political asylum. The hearing of the case is expected to take place next week.

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". "His citizenship status is a barrier to rendering him to another state as article 79 of Ecuador's constitution forbids extradition of citizens", it added.

The co-founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, has been living in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012 out of fear that he would be arrested by United Kingdom authorities for a violation of bail terms and deported to the US.

WikiLeaks said the government of Ecuador refused a visit by Human Rights Watch general counsel Dinah PoKempner, who has likened Ecuador's isolation to "solitary confinement", and had not allowed several meetings with his lawyers.

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It added that the embassy was requiring Assange's visitors - including journalists and lawyers - to disclose "private or political details such as their social media usernames".

Julian Assange greets supporters outside the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Assange's access to the internet was also cut off in March but has since been partially restored.

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".

It also threatened to confiscate Assange's cat if he didn't take better care of its "well-being, food, and hygiene".

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

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