U.S. actress Pamela Anderson, British fashion designer Vivienne Westwood and former Greek finance minister Yanis Varoufakis have asked President Lenin Moreno to restore Julian Assange’s access to the internet.
Ecuador suspended Assange’s account at the country’s British embassy last week after he posted messages on social media supporting the Catalan separatist movement in Spain and criticizing the British government for expelling Russian diplomats. According Ecuador’s foreign ministry, Assange broke an agreement not to criticize foreign governments.
In a letter sent to Moreno, Anderson, Westwood and Varoufakis and others claimed that Assange’s human rights were violated when his internet access was suspended. “This is not just about showing support and solidarity, we ask all those who care about human rights to ask the government of Ecuador to continue defending the rights of this courageous activist,” the letter said.
“If there is no freedom of expression for Julian Assange, there is no freedom of expression for any of us,” the letter continued.
Among the social media comments that led to the suspension of Assanges’ account was the comparison made of the detention of the Catalan separatist leader Carles Puigdemont to that of Lluís Companys by the German gestapo in 1940. Companys was sent back to his native Spain where he was executed by the fascist government of Francisco Franco.
In another comment that angered Ecuador’s foreign ministry, Assange attacked the British government for expelling Russian diplomats in retaliation for the alleged poisoning of a former spy and his daughter by Russian secret agents.
Assange has been holed up in Ecuador’s British embassy since 2012 when he was granted political asylum. In February, a British judge ruled against lifting an arrest warrant for Assange, a move that would have allowed the WikiLeaks founder to walk free.