Julian Assange Sues Ecuador for ‘Violating His Fundamental Rights’

Julian Assange gestures as he speaks to the media from the balcony of the Embassy Of Ecuador on May 19, 2017 in London, England. Jack Taylor/Getty Images

WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange has directed his legal team to launch proceedings against the government of Ecuador for “violating his fundamental rights.”

In a statement, WikiLeaks said Friday Ecuador had “threatened to remove his protection and summarily cut off his access to the outside world.”

It added that the embassy has refused journalists and human rights organizations to see him as well as installed signal jammers to prevent phone calls and internet access.

The whistleblower has been holed up at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since 2012 when he was granted asylum as part of a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden where he was facing allegations of sexual assault. The case has since been dropped but as Assange fears US extradition due to his work with Wikileaks, he has remained in place.

The accusations against Ecuador come after a document was leaked earlier this week revealing a new set of house rules Assange must adhere to in London from December 1.

The memo, which was written in Spanish and first published by Ecuadorean website Codigo Vidrio, specifies that Assange must pay for his own expenses like food, medical and laundry, that visitors must have prior authorization, and that he must not only keep the spaces inside the embassy clean, but also take care of his cat. It also reiterates the position that he is not allowed to interfere in any other country’s political matters.

The leaked document says that the 47-year-old is at risk of losing both his pet and his asylum status if he does not comply.

WikiLeaks lawyer Baltasar Garzon arrived in Ecuador this week to launch legal proceedings.

In a news conference Friday, Garzon said there “a number of measures which have a threatening tone” and accused the Ecuadorian government of “not doing enough.”

He added: “This is the time when they need to act … it’s on Ecuador’s interest and also Mr. Assange’s interest.”

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SOURCE: CNN, Claudia Rebaza and Lauren Said-Moorhouse