What is the feminist view of the Julian Assange stand off

(118 Posts)
TeamGBsometimes Sat 18-Aug-12 13:34:41

It should be simple shouldn't it. The man is wanted for questioning in Sweden for a sexual assault allegation. Sweden is a western democracy, not a country known for human rights transgressions. I'm sure it's not 100% squeaky clean, nowhere's perfect.

Are Ecuador right or wrong to allow him to asylum in their embassy? Should we just be looking at the sexual assault charge and ignoring the wiki leaks background?

TheDoctrineOfEnnis Sat 18-Aug-12 13:49:57

Yes, we should just be looking at the Swedish issues, as is the rule of law

I've posted a fair bit on the In The News thread on this one and don't
Want to repeat myself!

StewieGriffinsMom Sat 18-Aug-12 14:00:00

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TeamGBsometimes Sat 18-Aug-12 14:08:21

It kind of grates how much of our taxes are going into watching the embassy. I'm not sure what Ecuador hope to gain from this, but we are paying for it.

StewieGriffinsMom Sat 18-Aug-12 14:42:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

KRITIQ Sat 18-Aug-12 14:52:07

He seems to have proven himself to be a hypocritical narcissist, yes. If wikileaks is supposed to be about freedom of speech and challenging state oppression, he could have picked a better nation to hide under than Ecuador, that's for sure. And, it is far more likely he would be extradited from the UK than from Sweden to the US, looking at previous cases involving political dissidents. I seem to recall there is or at least was for a long time an American citizen who sought asylum in Sweden from persecution by the American Government. He wasn't granted it, but they didn't round him up and send him back, either.

On one level, I can understand concerns by some supporters that he could be extradited, subjected to rendition or in some other way sent to the US to face charges connected to the disclosure of confidential information via Wikileaks. But, the fear that that will be more likely to happen if he goes to Sweden is pretty ridiculous.

What is most disturbing is that many of his defenders, folks I'd otherwise rate for their political views like John Pilger and (sort of, just) George Galloway, insist that the sexual assault charges either were deliberately trumped up, or worse, the idea that what happened to the women concerned even if true was not "really rape." However long ago, I came to realise that folks on the left of politics aren't automatically any less misogynistic in their views than those on the right of politics.

I suppose it's not just that his supporters don't believe he could be a rapist. It's that they are willing to bend the definition of what rape means in order to insist he isn't a rapist, because that suits their agenda. The will insist that his (and their) loftier ideals take precedence over the rights and safety of women.

TeiTetua Sat 18-Aug-12 17:30:24

Of course there's a feminist issue at the start of this, but the longer it goes on, the more Assange just looks pathetic. The charges in Sweden aren't going to go away, and anywhere he runs, he's making a prisoner of himself. Let him go to Sweden and say clearly what he did and whether he thinks it was acceptable. The result can't be worse than what he's doing now.

Xenia Sat 18-Aug-12 17:39:47

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TheDoctrineOfEnnis Sat 18-Aug-12 17:44:01

Xenia, I know you know more about the actual accusations than that.

Xenia Sat 18-Aug-12 17:52:09

I don't share most people views including prevailing femininst views on what people do in bed so I don't think I can expect anyone to agree with me on the allegations (which are not proven of course anyway).

I am just enjoying the mess Hague and others are making of this. It is going to be fun to watch and for feminists the ability to disclose material and the good wikileaks has done is huge.

LePan Sat 18-Aug-12 17:56:38

I was really surprised when Hague said "we will not provide safe passage." Came across as a little naive, and odd given such an experienced and interested constitutionalist.

TheDoctrineOfEnnis Sat 18-Aug-12 18:00:50

Pan, I believe that the UK, having gone through the courts with Sweden's extradition request and granted it, have their first obligation to that.

TeiTetua Sat 18-Aug-12 18:02:01

Here's an article about the legal issues regarding his status, if anyone wants to read them. I said there were "charges" in Sweden but apparently there aren't yet:

"He is wanted for questioning on one count of unlawful coercion, two of sexual molestation and one of rape.

Swedish prosecutors say they have solid case against Assange, but have not charged him with a crime."

www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/9482433/Wikileaks-Julian-Assange-will-take-Britain-to-the-World-Court.html

LePan Sat 18-Aug-12 18:05:58

Doctrine - I mean that stuff like 'obligations' get very easily over-ruled when other pressures and powerful interested parties start bringing diplomatic pressures, and 'deals' are done. IN the world of diplomatic negotiation, Hague appeared to be making himself a hostage to fortune.

StewieGriffinsMom Sat 18-Aug-12 18:06:25

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TheDoctrineOfEnnis Sat 18-Aug-12 18:09:13

Thanks, SGM.

I guess that Hague felt his obligations to a fellow European country that had gone through due process should be clearly stated, and that that was his diplomatic position.

monsterchild Sat 18-Aug-12 18:09:17

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Xenia Sat 18-Aug-12 18:10:11

The UK is the poodle of the US so of course Hague is playing to their tune. Pity we did not win the war of independence.

So Hague could be appointed a diplomat after being given citizenship of E. Or a court order saying he can have safe passage could be obtained. Or he could be sneaked out. In fact he may be out and the supposed press conference today just a decoy.

Obviously we wll known Ecudaor has a dreadful record for freedom of speech so like most political things it is a bit of a farce of course.

I think there is a hearnig next week so see if those who put up his bail - if the conditions have been broken or if they forfeit their money.

LePan Sat 18-Aug-12 18:10:27

In the UK one can't be 'charged' without the opportunity of questioning. Arrest, caution, question and charge.

TheDoctrineOfEnnis Sat 18-Aug-12 18:11:23

Monsterchild, there is more detail about the Swedish legal system on the In the News thread.

You might want to check the end of your post against the We Believe You page.

StewieGriffinsMom Sat 18-Aug-12 18:11:40

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

monsterchild Sat 18-Aug-12 18:11:55

Cross post with SGM, so that makes more sense.

StewieGriffinsMom Sat 18-Aug-12 18:15:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

sarahtigh Sat 18-Aug-12 18:16:52

monsterchild, he can not be charged first because he has not yet been questioned by swedish police

not saying whether case is right or wrong but can not be charged in Sweden without questioning it is possible that he could be extradited questioned then released but he refuses to attend questioning, Sweden have followed international extradiction procedures.

To claim asylum with ecaudor for freedom of sppeech seems rather ironic to say the least

monsterchild Sat 18-Aug-12 18:17:30

Ennis, I see what you mean, and I can't think of a more coherent way to state my concerns. I am certainly aware of the "we believe you" and support it wholeheartedly. The current misogyny in the world worries me but I suppose progress isn't linear, either.

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