Human rights commission asks Ecuador to justify its treatment of Julian Assange

Feb 1, 2019

The Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry said it had been asked by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR), to provide the information related to Julian Assange’s asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy in light of Assange’s recently filed motion asking the commission for protection.

Julian Assange

On 23 January, Assange’s lawyers said they had filed an urgent application to the Washington-based IACHR, part of the Organization of American States, in order to compel the U.S. authorities to disclose charges against the whistleblower.

In the same statement, the defense team said it had asked the commission to compel Ecuador to cease its espionage activities against Assange, the WikiLeaks founder, to stop the isolation imposed on him and to protect him from extradition to the United States.

On Tuesday, WikiLeaks said the commission had given Ecuador five days to answer seven questions on threats against Assange’s asylum.

Assange, who has been living in the Ecuadorian embassy in the United Kingdom, since 2012, has repeatedly said he feared extradition to the United States due to the fact that he had published thousands of leaked classified U.S. authorities’ documents.

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His defense team has cited media reports suggesting that Ecuador’s president Lenin Moreno had sought to reach an agreement with the United States on handing Assange over to Washington in exchange for debt relief.

Moreover, WikiLeaks and a number of U.S. media outlets published in November what they claimed was court filing in an unrelated case including some sealed charges, which used Assange’s name in an “apparent cut-and-paste error”.

The outlets then suggested that the existence of these files meant existing charges brought against Assange by the U.S. authorities.

In October, the Ecuadorian authorities have introduced a protocol restricting Assange communications. The activist’s defense team said the new home rules were a violation of Assange’s rights.
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Credit: Telesur, www.telesurenglish.net

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