Julian Assange to take legal action against Ecuador


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.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange files suit against Ecuador over asylum protocol and for "violating his rights" after being left incommunicado for months. The case has been slated to be heard in a domestic court next week.

It claims the government of Ecuador refused a visit by Human Rights Watch general counsel Dinah PoKempner and had not allowed several meetings with his lawyers.

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. The lawyer also said during a press conference that there are now no plans to take Assange to Russian Federation.

Despite being protected by Ecuador, Assange was held "incommunicado" at the embassy in London in March for failing to comply with his "written commitment not to publish messages that constituted interference in the relationship with other states", Quito said at the time when restrictions were imposed to cut Assange's contact with the outside world.

It also threatened to confiscate Assange's cat if he didn't take better care of its "well-being, food, and hygiene".

The WikiLeaks founder argued that the claims were "without basis" and said he feared it could lead to his extradition to the U.S. over WikiLeaks' publishing of classified information.

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".

Recall that Assange has been granted asylum in Ecuador from the predecessor of President Moreno Rafael Correa.

According to the lawyer, Ecuadorian authorities presented Assange with a "special protocol", detailing rules on visitors, access to communications and medical attention, on October 13.

WikiLeaks caused an global storm in 2010 when it published a series of leaks from U.S. soldier Chelsea Manning.