In Brief

Ecuador warns Julian Assange: take better care of your cat

Embassy ‘house rules’ for Wikileaks founder include reminder to clean his bathroom

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange has been handed a list of house rules by his hosts at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, including a reminder to take better care of his cat.

Signs of friction between diplomats and their long-term houseguest - who has been living in the embassy since 2012 - emerged in March, when Assange’s internet access was suspended on the grounds that he had been using it to “interfer[e] in other countries’ affairs”.

The leaked memo, published by Ecuadorian investigative journalism website Codigo Vidrio, appears to list terms which Assange must meet in order to have his internet access restored.

Unsurprisingly, an agreement not to use the internet for political purposes is foremost among the conditions in the guidelines, issued this month. Security protocols are also a key concern of the nine-page document.

However, other rules deal with far more humdrum aspects of the tenant-landlord relationship, offering an insight into the Wikileaks’ founder’s life inside the embassy.

In particular, the memo “warned the 47-year-old to provide better care of the feline that he shares the embassy with or it may be handed to a refuge”, says the BBC. It did not specify particular causes for concern, but highlighted the importance of the animal’s “well-being, food and hygiene”.

The cat, a gift to Assange from his children, is nicknamed “Embassy Cat” and has frequently been spotted on the balcony or at the window, wearing a distinctive red and white tie.

151116-wd-assangecat.jpg

In another section hinting at behind-the-scenes discord between Assange and his hosts, the “implored Assange and his guests to keep the bathroom clean” and declared that the embassy “would not pay towards his food, laundry or any other costs” from December this year, says The Guardian.

Failure to comply with the terms “could lead to the termination of the diplomatic asylum granted by the Ecuadorian state”, the memo warns.

Over the weekend, it was reported that Assange would have his internet access restored, “but it was not clear whether the move was contingent on him agreeing to Ecuador's conditions”, the Associated Press reports.

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