Julain Assange sues Ecuador over 'fundamental rights'

Illustration of Julian Assange

Julain Assange sues Ecuador over 'fundamental rights'

"Julian Assange launched a case Friday accusing the government of Ecuador of violating his fundamental rights and freedoms", read a WikiLeaks statement.

Sources close to WikiLeaks confirmed to the Guardian on Friday that the legal action was in the works and that there was due to be a press conference in the Ecuadorian capital, Quito. The case has been slated to be heard in a domestic court next week.

Mr Assange has not had access to the internet since it was cut off in March, Mr Garzon added, despite a WikiLeaks statement this week that it had been restored.

Ecuador refused to let Human Rights Watch General Counsel Dinah PoKempner, who likened Ecuador's isolation to "solitary confinement" [https://twitter.com/RockinTrump/status/981286495934803968] see him as well several meetings with his lawyers. The Australian ex-hacker sought asylum from Ecuador in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden.

Speculation is mounting that Ecuador is preparing to end its standoff with the British government by terminating Wikileaks founder Julian Assange's high-profile stay at its embassy.

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

The protocol claims the Embassy may seize the property of Assange or his visitors and, without a warrant, hand it over to United Kingdom authorities, said the statement.

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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.

That case has since been dropped but Assange fears being extradited to the United States to face charges over the WikiLeaks website's release of troves of sensitive USA government files.

Assange's lawsuit names Ecuadorean Foreign Minister Jose Valencia given that Valencia has been the key mediator between him and the Ecuador government. "The embassy has the right to protect its offices, the officials who work there, and even Mr. Assange himself", he wrote.

Assange was given sanctuary in the building by Moreno's predecessor Rafael Correa.

It was through Wikileaks in 2010, that U.S. Army veteran Chelsea Manning was able to leak classified data.

The leaks enraged Washington and included thousands of secret United States diplomatic cables that were highly critical of world leaders, including Vladimir Putin and Saudi Arabia's royal family.

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