Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Posted at: Oct 16, 2018, 7:01 PM; last updated: Oct 16, 2018, 7:01 PM (IST)

Ecuador asks WikiLeaks chief to take better care of cat: Report

London, October 16

WikiLeaks co-founder Julian Assange has been given a set of house rules at the Ecuadorean embassy here that include taking better care of his cat and cleaning his bathroom, a media report said Tuesday.

 The whistle-blower, who has been holed up in the Ecuadorean embassy since 2012, was sent a memo in which he was warned that his feline companion could be confiscated, the BBC reported.

The 47-year-old Australian national was also told to look after its "well-being, food and hygiene" in the set of guidelines, written in Spanish.

Assange had his online access cut in March this year after "interfering in other countries' affairs", Ecuador said.

In a set of guidelines presented to him this month, Ecuador warned Assange to provide better care of the feline that he shares the embassy with or it may be handed to a refuge.

The cat—which was given to Assange by his children—often appears at the embassy window to watch the journalists gathered outside.

The cat also has its own Twitter feed, which says it is "interested in counter-purrveillance".

It is unclear what is behind Ecuador's concern over Assange's treatment of his roommate, the report said.

On the subject of cleanliness, however, Assange tweeted earlier this year: "Save water, don't shower". Some reports said Assange is prohibited from "interfering in the internal affairs of other states" or from activities "that could prejudice Ecuador's good relations with other states". Assange has remained at the embassy after seeking asylum to avoid extradition to Sweden on a rape allegation.

He alleges that the accusations were politically motivated and could lead to him being extradited to the US over the publication of secret US military documents and diplomatic cables in 2010.

While the Swedish case has since been dropped, Assange is still wanted by Scotland Yard for breach of bail and faces arrest the moment he steps out of the diplomatically immune territory.

Assange was granted asylum six years ago by Ecuador on the grounds that he feared extradition to the United States. PTI


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