Wednesday, 31 October 2018 10:57

Assange loses rights case against Ecuador

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Assange loses rights case against Ecuador Courtesy YouTube

WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange has lost a case against Ecuador, in which he had accused the government of violating his fundamental rights and freedoms by imposing conditions that he would have to satisfy if he wished to have his communications with the outside world restored.

During the hearing, Assange had claimed that Ecuador was moving to end the asylum it has granted him since 2012, telling the court in Quito on Monday that the intention was to hand him over to the United States.

He told the court that the new rules were a sign that Ecuador had decided to push him out of the London embassy where he has been taking refuge since June 2012.

Before he could finish his statement, a government lawyer interrupted him and admonished him against making political statements. But the court ruled against him, meaning that Assange's vigil in the embassy would continue.

Journalists who were covering the hearing were told they could not record any of his statements.

Assange's lawyers filed the case this month, accusing the government of violating his fundamental rights and freedoms.

In a statement issued by WikiLeaks at the time, he said that his lawyers would challenge a "protocol" put in place by Ecuador that made it mandatory for his lawyers to hand over personal details before being allowed to see him.

The case was launched on 19 October by WikiLeaks general counsel Balthazar Garcon.

Ecuador cut off Assange's Internet access and phone lines in March, but said recently it would restore them if he adhered to some conditions.

Assange has said that he fears being extradited to the US if he leaves the embassy in London. Last year, US officials said arresting him was a top priority.

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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