WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has had his access to the internet partly restored by Ecuador.The Ecuadorian government has decided to partly restore communications for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
They were cut in March, denying the n access to the internet or phones and limiting visitors to members of his legal team.
He has been living inside Ecuador’s embassy in London for more than six years.
The Ecuadorian government said in March it had acted because Assange had breached “a written commitment made to the government at the end of 2017 not to issue messages that might interfere with other states”.
WikiLeaks said in a statement: “Ecuador has told WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange that it will remove the isolation regime imposed on him following meetings between two senior UN officials and Ecuador’s President Lenin Moreno on Friday.”
Kristinn Hrafnsson, WikiLeaks’ editor-in-chief, added: “It is positive that through UN intervention Ecuador has partly ended the isolation of Mr Assange although it is of grave concern that his freedom to express his opinions is still limited.
“The UN has already declared Mr Assange a victim of arbitrary detention. This unacceptable situation must end.
“The UK government must abide by the UN’s ruling and guarantee that he can leave the Ecuadorian embassy without the threat of extradition to the United States.”
Assange has been granted political asylum by Ecuador but believes he will be arrested if he leaves the embassy and extradited to the US for questioning over the activities of WikiLeaks.
WikiLeaks said Assange has not entered into any form of agreement with Ecuador to restrict his speech or other rights.
His lawyers are considering his legal options and will make a statement in due course.
The WikiLeaks statement said the meetings were held in Ecuador between the president and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi and UN special rapporteur for freedom of expression David Kaye.
It said: “Concern over Mr Assange’s situation has also been raised by other UN bodies, as well as Human Rights Watch (who was refused access to him), Amnesty International, the Inter-American Court on Human Rights, Ecuador’s Permanent Human Rights Commission, and public protests
“Mr Assange was informed of Ecuador’s decision hours after Mr Grandi and Mr Kaye met with President Moreno.”
Moreno ordered Assange’s “isolation” on March 28 in retaliation for giving “opinions on the politics of friendly nations like Spain or the United States”.
WikiLeaks says the Ecuadorian actions were the result of pressure brought to bear by the US government over the leaking of CIA documents last year. The US has announced it now considers Ecuador a “strategic ally” and helped it secure a billion dollars in previously withheld loans, the website said in a statement.