Julian Assange, a founder of WikiLeaks, has claimed Ecuador is seeking to end his asylum in its London embassy and plans to hand him over to the US citing new “appalling” rules governing his residence at the embassy as evidence for his testimony.
The Ecuadorean government instructed Assange to pay for his medical bills, phone calls and to clean up after his pet cat, to which the 47-year old Australian has replied that “these new rules were a sign Ecuador is trying to push him out of the embassy.”
Julian Assange has filed an appeal againt the court decision in Ecuador yesterday. The court ruled that the “special protocol” gagging Assange from political opinion under threat of his asylum was a type of “law” and so must be litigated at the constitutional court.
— #FreeAssange! (tweets by campaign)⌛ (@JulianAssange) October 30, 2018
Assange had filed a charge sheet that Quito tried to violate his “fundamental rights” and is trying to limit his access to the outside world while in an asylum at its London embassy. During the proceedings, he stated that “the Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno had already decided to end his asylum but had not yet officially given the order. Due to lack of gravity, the judge ultimately rejected his lawsuit over the embassy at the hearing in Quito, concurring that the Foreign Ministry was in charge of determining his living conditions.”
Mr. Assange took refuge in the embassy six years ago to avoid extradition to Sweden in a sexual assault case that was subsequently dropped. He continues to live there to avoid being jailed by Great Britain for violating the terms of his bail, which he claims would result in his being handed over to Washington.
NUEVO: Acción de protección de Julian #Assange presentado hoy en #Quito ante la juez Karina Martinez por abogados Baltasar Garzon y Carlos Poveda: https://t.co/PZycABt3VC #Ecuador pic.twitter.com/Da5ckOKTnJ
— #FreeAssange! (tweets by campaign)⌛ (@JulianAssange) October 29, 2018
The Embassy staff has their share of complaints against Mr. Assange such as riding a skateboard in the halls, playing soccer on the grounds and behaving aggressively with security personnel. Moreover, Ecuador’s administration has objected to his online commentary on sensitive political subjects in other countries, comprising broadcasting of opinions about the Catalonia separatist movement in Spain.
Attorney General Inigo Salvador also added that Mr. Assange’s stay had cost the country over $6 million.
Salvador stated that “the new set of rules is meant to address these apprehensions. Foreign Minister Jose Valencia has declined to comment anything on Assange’s speculation that Ecuador sought to hand him over to the United States.”
WikiLeaks was set up by Mr. Assange in 2006 as a site where whistleblowers could publish confidential documents and images online. The site rose to prominence with the release of a footage in 2010 in which the US military helicopters were shooting down civilians in Iraq.