Julian Assange sues Ecuador for 'violating his rights and freedoms'

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In a statement released on Friday, WikiLeaks said its lawyer Baltasar Garzon arrived in Ecuador on Thursday to file the case.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is seeking a court injunction pressing Ecuador to provide basic rights he says the country agreed to when it first granted him asylum at its London embassy.

It comes after the nation issued a new set of rules for Assange, who has lived in its London embassy for years.

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

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 move comes nearly seven months after Ecuador threatened to remove his protection and summarily cut off his access to the outside world", the group said in a statement.

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Sweden later dropped its investigation of Assange, but Britain says he will be arrested for violating the terms of his bail if he leaves the embassy.

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.

WikiLeaks said that United States congressmen had written an open letter to Ecuador's president, Lenin Moreno, saying that in order to advance "crucial matters. from economic co-operation to counternarcotics assistance, to the possible return of a USAID mission to Ecuador, we must first resolve a significant challenge created by your predecessor, Rafael Correa - the status of Julian Assange".

Assange's lawyers are also challenging the legality of the government's "Special Protocol" reported in the news this week. The WikiLeaks founder sought the protection of Ecuador in 2012 to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he faced rape allegations, or the USA, where he could be punished for publishing secret government documents.

Under the protocol, Assange is to have his access to the internet restored via the embassy wifi. "The embassy has the right to protect its offices, the officials who work there, and even Mr. Assange himself", he wrote.

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