Assange sues Ecuador government for ‘violating his fundamental rights’

LONDON ENGLAND- FEBRUARY 05 Wikileaks founder Julian Assange prepares to speak from the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy where he continues to seek asylum following an extradition request from Sweden in 2012

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 founder Julian Assange has filed a lawsuit in Ecuador against new terms of asylum in the Andean country's London embassy that require him to pay for medical bills and phone calls and clean up after his pet cat, his lawyer says.

WikiLeaks, the organisation founded by Mr Assange that published the military documents, has sent its lawyer Baltasar Garzon to Ecuador to launch the case.

He was given a set of house rules by the London embassy this week, including taking better care of his cat.

He was also prohibited from any receiving guest beside his team of lawyers, a move which effectively cut him off from the world.

However, earlier this week it said it would be partially restored.

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"Ecuador's measures against Julian Assange have been widely condemned by the human rights community", it added.

"Ecuador refused to let Human Rights Watch General Counsel Dinah PoKempner, who likened Ecuador's isolation to "solitary confinement" see him as well several meetings with his lawyers". The statement slammed the so-called "Special Protocol", reportedly developed by Ecuador, as an unlawful means to censor Assange's "freedom of opinion, speech and association" by imposing conditions for his continued stay in the embassy.

Why is he living in the embassy?

The protocol, according to Wikileaks, also states that the Ecuadorian Embassy can seize the property of Assange and his visitors and hand it over to British authorities without a warrant.

Ecuador granted him asylum in August 2012, saying it feared his human rights might be violated if he was extradited. However, Assange still faces the lesser charge of failing to surrender to a court when his extradition was approved in 2012, and maintains that this could lead to his extradition to the US.

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