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WikiLeaks' Assange sues in Ecuador for better asylum terms - lawyer

21 October 2018

WikiLeaks' lawyer, Baltasar Garzon, will be filing a case against the Ecuadorean government for violating the "fundamental rights and freedoms" of WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange by cutting off his communications with the outside world, the organization wrote on Twitter.

WikiLeaks lawyer Baltasar Garzon is now in Quito, the capital of Ecuador, to launch the case, which is set to be heard in a domestic court next week, according to United Kingdom media reports. It is due to be heard in a domestic court next week.

WikiLeaks said Ecuador had threatened to remove the protection Assange has had since being granted political asylum, and added that his access to the outside world had been "summarily cut off".

Ecuador in 2017 gave Assange citizenship and named him to a diplomatic post in Russian Federation, but rescinded the latter after Britain refused to give him diplomatic immunity, according to an Ecuadorean government document seen by Reuters.

Quito confirmed blocking Assange's internet and mobile phone access in March after accusing him of breaking "a written committment" not to interfere in Ecuador's foreign policies.

The prosecutors have since dropped the charges but Assange faces arrest by British authorities for fleeing justice in the Swedish case.

Lawyers for Assange have said they will challenge the legality of the Ecuador government's "special protocol", which make his political asylum contingent on "censoring" his freedom of opinion, speech and association.

Ecuador granted him asylum in August 2012, saying it feared his human rights might be violated if he was extradited.

Other requirements Assange needs to meet to avoid expulsion include since this week, a set of house rules including better looking after his cat and cleaning his bathroom.

Russian diplomats called the story "fake news", but the files show Assange was briefly named "political counsellor" to the Ecuadorean Embassy in Moscow with a monthly salary pegged at $2000. He fled to the embassy after skipping bail in the UK. Assange claims his condition is like "solitary confinement", though he doesn't mention that he's free to leave any time he likes.

The WikiLeaks founder argued that the claims were "without basis" and said he feared it could lead to his extradition to the USA over WikiLeaks' publishing of classified information.

Valencia said on Friday that Ecuador would "respond in an appropriate manner, in respect of the law".

WikiLeaks' Assange sues in Ecuador for better asylum terms - lawyer