Assange sues Ecuador over 'fundamental rights'
October 19 2018 06:49 PM
Julian Assange is seen on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seen on the balcony of the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, Britain on May 19, 2017

AFP/London

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange sued the Ecuador government Friday for violating his "fundamental rights" and limiting his access to the outside world while in asylum at its London embassy.
The whistleblowing website said its general counsel arrived in Ecuador on Thursday to launch a legal case against the government for "violating (Assange's) fundamental rights and freedom".
"The move comes almost seven months after Ecuador threatened to remove his protection and summarily cut off his access to the outside world, including by refusing to allow journalists and human rights organisations to see him," WikiLeaks said.
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".
The Ecuador government issued no immediate statement in response.
Assange's legal action comes with speculation mounting that Ecuador was preparing to end its standoff with the British government by terminating his six-year asylum.
Quito confirmed blocking Assange's internet and mobile phone access in March after accusing him of breaking "a written commitment" not to interfere in Ecuador's foreign policies.
Assange found refuge in the embassy in 2012 after a British judge ruled he should be extradited to Sweden to face allegations of sexual assault, and he feared being transferred to the US.
US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in March 2017 that arresting Assange for leaking sensitive US government files through his websites was a "priority".

Last updated: October 19 2018 07:30 PM


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