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Ecuador News

‘Cat in the embassy’ and personal hygiene are part of latest Julian Assange intrigue

Included in the conditions for restoring Julian Assange’s internet access at Ecuador’s London embassy is that he take care of his cat, clean his bathroom and take baths.

Last week, Ecuador’s foreign ministry released other conditions for the restoration of Assange’s internet access, including a prohibition on attacking other governments on social media and new restrictions on his visitation rights. The conditions relating to cat care and personal tidiness came to light when The Guardian and BBC obtained a full copy of the 10-page document describing the conditions that Assange must agree to.

The document says that the cat, a gift from Assange’s son, will be turned over to an animal shelter if he does not feed and care for it. According to BBC sources, Assange has never fed or watered the cat or changed its liter box. Those chores has fallen to embassy secretaries and, on occasion, the ambassador.

In addition, the document refers to the “abominable care” of his bathroom, which is also used by embassy staff. Under the new requirements, Assange and his guests are required to keep the bathroom “clean and in a satisfactory hygienic condition for all staff and visitors to the embassy.”

Among the other conditions listed in the document is that Assange take showers. A former embassy employee, quoted by the Guardian in 2017, said the WikiLeaks founder never takes baths. “You could smell the man two rooms away and you dreaded the possibility that he might come and stand directly in front of your desk,” she said.

In a February Twitter post, shortly before his internet access was suspended, Assange wrote: “Save water, don’t shower.”