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Ecuador throws out WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s mistreatment claim

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s claim that Ecuador is violating his “fundamental rights” in its London embassy has been thrown out by the country.

The 47-year-old Australian claimed Ecuador was limiting his access to the outside world and he was living in an “inhuman situation”.

Mr Assange’s situation should have already been resolved but is being “dragged out longer and longer” by the “involved states”, his lawyer said.

Mr Assange has claimed new asylum terms forcing him to pay for medical bills, laundry and phone calls and to clean up after his pet cat violate his rights and are meant to coerce him into ending his asylum.

In the Ecuadorean capital of Quito, magistrate Karen Martinez ruled on Monday that the suit could not move forward.

LONDON, ENGLAND - MAY 19: Julian Assange speaks to the media from the balcony of the Embassy Of Ecuador on May 19, 2017 in London, England. Julian Assange, founder of the Wikileaks website that published US Government secrets, has been wanted in Sweden on charges of rape since 2012. He sought asylum in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London and today police have said he will still face arrest if he leaves. (Photo by Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
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In May 2017 Julian Assange spoke to the media from an embassy balcony

The hearing was suspended last Friday after Mr Assange complained the Spanish translator only understood English, and was not fluent in Australian.

Mr Assange has been in Ecuador’s London embassy since 2012 after he sought refuge there following a British judge ruling he should be extradited to Sweden to face sexual assault allegations.

Sweden dropped the case in 2017 but Mr Assange remains in the embassy as he fears being extradited to the US to face charges over the WikiLeaks website’s release of sensitive US government files.

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Julian Assange was on Interpol’s wanted list but was taken off in 2017 at Sweden’s request

A Met Police arrest warrant is also still in force as he absconded after being released on bail in 2010, so as soon as he steps out of the embassy’s grounds he will most likely be arrested.

Ecuador’s government confirmed in March that it blocked Mr Assange’s internet and mobile phone access because they claim he broke “a written commitment” to not interfere in the country’s foreign policies.

Officials have also complained that Mr Assange has caused damage by playing football and skateboarding in the embassy building, where he takes up more than a third of the space.

A protocol governing his stay at the embassy warns that further breaches will lead to “termination of asylum”, Ecuadorian internet site Codigo Vidrio said.

Quito has never denied it.

US attorney general Jeff Sessions said in March 2017 that arresting Mr Assange for leaking sensitive US government files was a “priority”.

Mr Assange’s lawyer in Ecuador, Carlos Poveda, has appealed Monday’s ruling, meaning a higher court should review the case in coming days.

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