Julian Assange taking legal action against Ecuador government

Julian Assange to take legal action against Ecuador (Dominic Lipinski/PA) Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is to launch legal action against the government of Ecuador, accusing it of violating his “fundamental rights and freedoms”.

The move comes several months after Ecuador cut off communications for Mr Assange, who has been living inside the country's embassy in London for over six years.

WikiLeaks lawyer Baltasar Garzon has arrived in Ecuador to launch the case, which is set to be heard in a domestic court next week.

Mr Assange fears being extradited to the United States if he leaves the embassy.

WikiLeaks say Ecuador threatened to remove the protection Mr Assange has had since being granted political asylum and added that his access to the outside world had been “summarily cut off.”

The website also said the Ecuadorian government refused a visit by Human Rights Watch general counsel Dinah PoKempner, who has likened Ecuador's isolation to “solitary confinement” and had not allowed several meetings with his lawyers.

A statement said: ”Ecuador's measures against Julian Assange have been widely condemned by the human rights community.“

Mr Assange's lawyers said they were also challenging the legality of the Ecuador government's ”special protocol“, revealed earlier this week, which makes his political asylum contingent on ”censoring“ his freedom of opinion, speech and association.

The protocol also requires journalists, his lawyers and anyone else seeking to see Julian Assange to disclose private or political details, such as their social media usernames, the serial numbers and codes of their phones and tablets, with Ecuador - which the protocol says the government may ”share with other agencies“.