Julian Assange: Wikileaks co-founder takes legal action against Ecuador

Lester Mason
October 20, 2018

WikiLeaks announced on Friday that its general counsel, Baltasar Garzon, had travelled to Ecuador on Thursday to launch the case against the government.

The move follows a deterioration in relations between the Ecuadorian government and the Wikileaks founder, who was granted refuge at Ecuador's London embassy in 2012 while on bail in the United Kingdom over sexual assault allegations against him in Sweden.

WikiLeaks 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".

Despite giving him political asylum, Ecuador's embassy has issued an increasing number of rules for Mr Assange to follow.

Mr Garzon said Mr Valencia was named in the lawsuit because he served as the intermediary between Mr Assange and the Ecuadorean Government.

In March, the Australian-born journalist saw his access to phone and internet took away from him after he challenged Theresa May's claim Russia was behind the Salisbury nerve agent attack against former Russian spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia.

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

Julian Assange remains inside the Ecuadorian embassy.

The protocol also requires journalists, his lawyers and anyone else seeking to see Assange to disclose private or political details, such as their social media usernames, the serial numbers and codes of their phones and tablets, with Ecuador - which the protocol says the government may "share with other agencies".

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".

The memo also made clearer Mr Assange is becoming increasingly unwanted within the embassy, saying the WikiLeaks founder will have to pay for his own food, health and laundry from December 2018. He always insisted he was willing to go to Sweden to answer the charges, but refused to do so - fearing that Sweden would extradite him to the US.

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

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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