Judge rejects Assange’s ‘human rights’ appeal

Dec 23, 2018

A judge in Quito has ruled against WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange, who had contested new rules imposed on him in the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

Julian Assange’s cat at the Ecuadorian embassy in London.

The judge said a requirement to pay for internet use and clean up after his cat did not violate his human rights or his right to asylum.

Assange had argued that the conditions violated his “fundamental rights and freedoms”, and were intended to force him to leave. His lawyers have appealed against the ruling.

Mr Assange took refuge in the embassy six years ago to avoid extradition to Sweden in a sexual assault case that has since been dropped. If he leaves the building he faces arrest for allegedly breaching bail conditions.

In November, Assange was given a new set of house rules by the London embassy that included paying for internet use and taking better care of his cat. He was also asked to keep the bathroom clean and pay for his own food and laundry.

WikiLeaks lawyer Baltasar Garzón launched the legal action in Ecuador earlier this month and Assange addressed the hearing in the capital, Quito, on Monday via teleconference. He said Ecuador was trying to end his asylum in the embassy which would see him extradited to the U.S. Former U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has said that arresting Julian Assange is a “priority”.

Credit: BBC, www.bbc.com

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