WikiLeaks' lawyer, Baltasar Garzon, will be filing a case against the Ecuadorean government for violating the "fundamental rights and freedoms" of WikiLeaks' founder Julian Assange by cutting off his communications with the outside world, the organization wrote on Twitter. The hearing of the case is expected to take place next week. The lawyer also said during a press conference that there are currently no plans to take Assange to Russia.
WikiLeaks' lawyer Judge Baltasar Garzón arrives in Ecuador to file case today over @JulianAssange's isolation and gagging. Hearing next week. Background: https://t.co/2jOgvSu5bG pic.twitter.com/k4FSayQuev— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) October 19, 2018
WikiLeaks' statement said that the government had also rejected visits to Assange from Human Rights Watch General Counsel Dinah PoKempner, journalists and lawyers. The statement slammed the so-called "Special Protocol," reportedly developed by Ecuador, as an unlawful means to censor Assange's "freedom of opinion, speech and association" by imposing conditions for his continued stay in the embassy.
The co-founder of WikiLeaks, Julian Assange, has been living in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London since 2012 out of fear that he would be arrested by UK authorities for a violation of bail terms and deported to the US. The embassy cut Assange's internet access in 2018 following his comments on the Skripal poisoning case. The access was partially restored on October 14.
Ecuadorean President Lenin Moreno has raised the issue of terminating Assange's asylum in the embassy during a visit to the UK in August 2018. He noted that Ecuador "will be happy" to let Assange go, but only after British authorities guarantee his safety.