Julian Assange sues Ecuador for better asylum terms | News | DW | 19.10.2018
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Julian Assange sues Ecuador for better asylum terms

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has filed a lawsuit against the new asylum terms imposed by the government of Ecuador. His lawyer said that Assange has been "held in inhuman conditions for more than six years."

Julian Assange took legal action against Ecuador on Friday for violating his "fundamental rights" and limiting his access to the outside world.

The move comes in response to a new policy governing Assange's stay at the South American nation's London embassy. Earlier this week, Ecuador threatened Assange with expulsion if he kept "interfering in the internal affairs of other states."

Watch video 01:17

Sweden drops rape charge against WikiLeaks' Assange

The 47-year-old was also ordered to keep the bathroom clean and look after his pet cat, with the government ordering that the animal would otherwise be confiscated and taken to a shelter.

Assange's lawyer Baltasar Garzon said the demands regarding the cat are "denigrating."

The lawyer also claims that his client has not had internet access since March.

"He has been held in inhuman conditions for more than six years," Garzon said. "Even people who are imprisoned have phone
calls paid for by the state," he added.

Six years in embassy

Specifically, Assange's lawsuit names Foreign Minister Jose Valencia, who serves as an intermediary between Assange and the Quito government, according to the lawyer.

Valencia said the government "will respond in an appropriate manner."

"The protocol is in line with international standards and Ecuadorean law," the minister told reporters on Friday.

Assange was granted asylum by Ecuador in 2012. He sought refuge in the embassy to avoid extradition to Sweden over alleged sexual assault crimes. Sweden has since dropped the rape charge against Assange, but he has remained in the embassy over concerns he could be extradited to the United States to face prosecution over the publication of classified military documents on WikiLeaks.

dj/rt (Reuters, AFP, dpa)

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