Assange presses Ecuador to grant basic rights under asylum

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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 is suing Ecuador's Foreign Minister Jose Valencia over new rules of conduct imposed as a condition for him to remain at the country's embassy in London, according to his lawyer. It is due to be heard in a domestic court next week. Ecuadorean authorities cut his communications with the outside world and began raising the topic of evicting Assange from the embassy in 2018.

"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".

Under the protocol, Assange is to have his access to the internet restored via the embassy wifi.

It added that his access to the outside world had been "summarily cut off".

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The WikiLeaks Twitter account stated on Thursday that "after U.S. pressure", moves had accelerated to grant Assange Ecuadorian citizenship.

Assange's lawyers are also challenging the legality of Ecuador's "special protocol", which it said makes his political asylum "contingent on censoring his freedom of opinion, speech and association".

But along with the partial restoration of internet came the protocol, in a nine-page memo which also included telling him that he must refrain from making political statements and clean the bathroom in the embassy.

WikiLeaks said that USA congressmen had written an open letter to the 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".

The website reported that the embassy intends to stop paying for Assange's food and medical care in December.

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