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Message withdrawn at poster's request.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Message withdrawn at poster's request.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

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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.

Xenia Sat 18-Aug-12 18:20:55

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StewieGriffinsMom Sat 18-Aug-12 18:27:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

JA is full of shit isn't he?

I haven't really had my eye on the ball wrt what's going on - I found this BBC timeline useful for catching up. Especially this bit:

18 August 2010
Mr Assange applies for a residence permit to live and work in Sweden. He hopes to create a base for Wikileaks there, because of the country's laws protecting whistle-blowers. (my bold)

He obviously viewed Sweden as a relatively safe bet in terms of his activities with Wikileaks. What has changed? ... hmm

... oh yes, he's now wanted for questioning in connection with allegations of one rape and three other sexual crimes (wouldn't all three count as sexual assault in UK?) in a country that takes VAW a little bit more seriously than most places. That's what he's frightened of, not extradition to the US.

This BBC article is full of it:

At Belmarsh Magistrates' Court in London, Mr Assange's lawyers accused the prosecutor in Sweden attempting to extradite Mr Assange of having a "biased view" against men.

His lawyers argued that The offences Mr Assange faces - unlawful coercion and sexual molestation - are not criminal acts under British law;

Oh look - women being unhinged again ...

Retired Swedish appeal court judge Brita Sundberg-Weitman, who was called as a witness, attacked Mr Assange's treatment by the authorities.

Talking about the prosecutor Marianne Ny, she said: "She seems to take it for granted that everybody under prosecution is guilty. I think she is so preoccupied with the situation of battered women and raped women that she has lost balance."

... and a nice nasty bit of victim blaming:

A second witness, Goran Rudling, told the court one of the alleged victims had deleted comments and Tweets that suggested she was still friendly with Mr Assange after the alleged assault.

Sorry, this is probably all old news to you lot isn't it? I haven't really kept up blush

Xenia, you appear to posting rape myths. If you ever have a moment of conscience about this, you can donate to Rape Crisis here. They'd be very grateful for your donation, being as how you're so wealthy and all.

StewieGriffinsMom Sat 18-Aug-12 19:03:22

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Empusa Sat 18-Aug-12 20:40:00

I recommend everyone read
This wrt why he hasn't been charged, the actual charges, and his extradition fear.

This about the timeline of events.

This about his fears of the death penalty

This about Ecuador and it's stance on freedom of speech

More about extradition

This about the supposed persecution

This reminder that he has jumped bail

Read points 6 and 8.

StewieGriffinsMom Sat 18-Aug-12 21:02:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

NameGames Sat 18-Aug-12 21:07:14

Xenia " We certainly want as feminists the asylum laws respected. Many a woman has sought asylum against sexist regimes."

Which asylum laws are these that you imply are in danger of not being respected? You mentioned them on the In the News thread too.

monsterchild Sat 18-Aug-12 21:30:51

Thanks very much for those posts, Empusa, they have helped me a great deal!

Trazzletoes Sat 18-Aug-12 21:40:19

Ooh I cannot STAND JA and am disgusted that he's not facing the music. If, as he claims, he is innocent, then surely there shouldn't be a problem, eh?

By the way, there is precisely 0% chance that he would face the death penalty in the US. Sweden is bound by Articles 2 (right to life) and 3 (right not to face inhuman or degrading treatment or torture) of the European Convention on Human Rights. The US would have to agree that the death penalty would not be an option before Sweden could send him there. He is just someone who feels he should be above the law.

Isn't the whole Ecuador thing because he met the President once and they got on well?

I am do frustrated by it all. Man up, JA. If you didn't do it, you have nothing to fear. Except perhaps a long stretch in a US prison, which you no doubt foresaw before setting up Wikileaks...

Xenia Sun 19-Aug-12 15:48:43

Censored on a thread about censorship. I think my case is being made for me. Thank you.

Anyway he's doing pretty well.

meandJuliodownbytheschoolyard Sun 19-Aug-12 16:30:05

PlentyOfPubeGardens Sat 18-Aug-12 19:02:44
... oh yes, he's now wanted for questioning in connection with allegations of one rape and three other sexual crimes (wouldn't all three count as sexual assault in UK?) in a country that takes VAW a little bit more seriously than most places. That's what he's frightened of, not extradition to the US.

the same Swedish authorities going after Assange do a worse job prosecuting reported rapes than do police and the judiciary in any comparable country.

And if this is accurate then I don't know what to say...

meandJuliodownbytheschoolyard Sun 19-Aug-12 16:33:24

Sorry meant to include this in last post... not encouraging reading re. Sweden

Empusa Sun 19-Aug-12 19:18:02

"the same Swedish authorities going after Assange do a worse job prosecuting reported rapes than do police and the judiciary in any comparable country."

In which case he has even less to fear from going to Sweden. Unless he knows they can prove his guilt that is..

From the figures in Klein's article, it sounds like they're about on a par with us when it comes to reporting and prosecuting. I am surprised, I thought they'd be better.

WTF is all the 'sex by surprise' crap? confused angry

meandJuliodownbythschoolyard Sun 19-Aug-12 23:07:45

Empusa Sun 19-Aug-12 19:18:02

In which case he has even less to fear from going to Sweden. Unless he knows they can prove his guilt that is..

I believe the "fear" is the involvement of the US who are desperate to prosecute him for embarrassing revelations on Wikileaks. The Swedish government (not the women involved) decided to press charges; suggestion is they did so at the behest of the US government.

Personally I'd be shouting "set-up" if it was a different type of charge i.e. tax fraud or some other financial irregularity, I know I shouldn't...

TheDoctrineOfEnnis Sun 19-Aug-12 23:10:29

The women made the complaints. The Swedish police (not government) decided the nature of the charges that fit the descriptions made by the women and presumably taking into account the answers made by Assange in his initial interview.

Remember at this time Assange was still in Sweden and had plans to make a base there - the Swedish police had no reason to treat him differently to any other person in Sweden on business with allegations against them.

EldritchCleavage Mon 20-Aug-12 13:32:24

So Hague [do you mean Assange?] could be appointed a diplomat after being given citizenship of E. Or a court order saying he can have safe passage could be obtained

I don't think either of those statements is correct. You cannot be appointed a diplomat unless the host country accepts your accreditation, and the UK is not about to do that for Assange. There is a suggestion that Ecuador could appoint him their ambassador to the UN and that would work, but I think even that is doubted. Nor do I think any court in the UK could order him to be given safe passage. The doctrine of comity (I think it's called) means the courts will not interfere in matters to do with relations with another nation state that are a matter for government.

And let's not get our kinds of asylum mixed up. JA is claiming diplomatic asylum, which means seeking asylum from the country he is in by taking refuge in the diplomatic mission of another country. That is entirely different from the 'conventional' asylum case of traveling to another country because you are in danger in your own country or country of domicile. The US has said it doesn't even recognise diplomatic asylum (remember what they did to Noriega in Panama when he was holed up in the residence of the Papal Nuncio, or whatever he was called?)

What's the message in all this relevant to feminism? Rape is nothing, only freedom of speech matters. The rape charges are trivial even if you believe there is a case to answer, the women complainants don't matter, JA is too important to be held to account over this. Shocking.

TheDoctrineOfEnnis Tue 21-Aug-12 12:52:11

This was posted by JuliaScurr on another thread and I think it is very clear.

www.newstatesman.com/blogs/david-allen-green/2012/08/legal-myths-about-assange-extradition

Childrenofthestones Wed 22-Aug-12 07:49:51

Incinerating Assange - The Liberal Media Go To Work

http://medialens.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=686:incinerating-assange-the-liberal-media-go-to-work&catid=25:alerts-2012&Itemid=69

StormGlass Wed 22-Aug-12 08:25:25

I cannot understand why he would not go to Sweden to face these charges unless he's actually guilty.

I'm also extremely skeptical about the notion that two women would invent or exaggerate claims of serious sexual assault or rape, simply because Assange has annoyed the US.

I also cannot understand why the Sweden government is somehow more likely to extradite him to the US than the UK government is. Given some recent cases (like that of Richard O'Dwyer ), the UK government doesn't exactly seem relucant to extradite people to the US.

StormGlass Wed 22-Aug-12 08:29:12

And I know the extradition situation may be different now if he's claimed asylum from Ecaudor, but he was previously claiming that Sweden would hand him over to the US if the UK goverment sent him there.

charitygirl Wed 22-Aug-12 08:34:34

Every feminis should note how quickly 'liberal'' men will throw women under the bus when one of their heroes is threatened (by due legal process). Not just say that rape charges aren't important, but also resort to base misogyny and abuse. Pilger, Galloway and many others - vile, one-eyed egomaniacs.

StewieGriffinsMom Wed 22-Aug-12 09:30:07

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ethelb Wed 22-Aug-12 09:39:41

you are charged with the reason why you were arrested. you can't be chared before you are arrested that is the only reason assange is not charged.

KRITIQ Wed 22-Aug-12 10:42:43

Charitygirl, your observations are correct in my experience! I hope I'm not derailing too much, but I have a theory why otherwise right on, progressive men who will take down racist/homophobic/disablist/class prejudiced/etc. bigotry in an eye blink but have a complete blank spot when it comes to sexist oppression.

This is something I've noticed not just amongst many of the more "high profile" men of the Left, but also amongst commentators on sites like Liberal Conspiracy or Guardian Comment Is Free as well as in a range of blogs. Their inconsistency and frankly, hypocrisy, stands out like a sore thumb.

I think for them, the political is just too personal!

Even the white, non disabled, straight, etc. guys can insist they disavow those privileges, pointing out all the good things they've done and through busting the tactics of the bigots - the minimising, denying, blaming and diverting they employ. They put alot of stock in their image as "good guys,"
putting as much fresh air as they can between themselves and the oppressors, showing they identify with the oppressed and not the privileged. (Whether they do genuinely eschew these privileges is another matter of course.)

But, if you have a wife, girlfriend, date women, have other women in your life, it's much, much harder to squirm away from the idea that you benefit from male privilege and on both a personal and wider scale, you contribute to the disadvantage and oppression of women. That idea doesn't "sit" with their image as good-guy-defender-of-the-underdog.

To be fair, some progressive men DO acknowledge this tension, do take active steps not to perpetuate or collude with sexist oppression and put their money where their mouth is on feminist principles. But sadly, lots don't.

To preserve their carefully honed image, they have to deny, minimise, blame and distract on any issues that relate to feminism or the oppression of women. They seem to have learned the techniques well by calling them out when employed by those folks perpetuating the oppression of other groups. They keep each other's "backs" when anyone points out the inconsistency and hypocrisy of their positions.

They'll argue tooth and claw because for them, a lot is at stake. They want to retain their "good guy" image but not lose the male privilege they enjoy. They just hope no one will notice that's what they are doing.

grimbletart Wed 22-Aug-12 13:28:13

Also, people conflate being 'left' with automatically being a feminist and make assumptions. Bad mistake.

MerlinScot Wed 22-Aug-12 13:52:51

SGW, in Scotland you still can be interviewed without any legal representation. I was but because I had no choice when that happened so I wanted to get through the questioning soon and declined to have legal representation.

So now the difference is that you can't be interviewed without police officers asking you if you've a legal assisting you during the questioning.

MerlinScot Wed 22-Aug-12 14:01:17

In reference to the whole issue Assange-estradition, I think Assange and his lawyers are quite cunning in using the wikileaks supporters who think he's kind if a hero in order to let him get away with a horrible crime.

I've already commented on few Assange threads and very often people who idolize him are ready to believe any rape myths of the planet to make him appear not guilty.

Concerning Equador embassy, I can understand their point of view, maybe negotiating for some free money out of the whole situation.

To be honest, if after his trial (if there'll be one) in Sweden, he goes to jail and then he's extradited to US.... well I don't really care.
I still don't grasp why this guy gets a free ticket for everything, for me he would have been in US ages ago.

charitygirl Wed 22-Aug-12 14:27:06

I think you're onto something KRITIQ. Confronting their male privilege for straight men would just require them to make too many actual changes. Better to rationalise it away...

Excellent post KRITIQ. "They just hope no one will notice that's what they are doing." Or indeed can't consciously acknowledge that's what they're doing. Cognitive bolstering is a powerful thing. You can believe all kinds of things which keep you from experiencing psychological stress like that.

(Stress is a bad word but it's the basic underlying issue in these things. Too stressful to believe you're capable of sexual assault/your mate is a rapist/you're benefiting from unearned priviledge. So you end up favouring the beliefs/attitudes that bolster you.)

Oops, more important point of course is how to combat that and reduce the cognitive dissonance in the first place to prevent the bolstering happening.

Which I guess comes down to education, talking to young men so they grow up already comfortable with it, men who understand the situation talking to grown men who don't (less threatening, easier to show how the transition to being a 'real' good guy can be done).

I wonder if it's worth a MN campaign to get those fantastic anti-rape ads in ... some English county (or was it Toronto?! I'm thinking of a couple of sets of pictures) ... national. You know - 'just because she's not saying no...' And one of the great campaigns had a gay couple in it too. Something like "when he said he wasn't sure, I stopped".

Those videos for teenagers are good, but big posters on the Tube and in schools etc get to so many more people.

TheDoctrineOfEnnis Wed 22-Aug-12 15:33:19

Thanks, Leggy. There's a great poster on the Education threads who teaches sex ed in schools and who really gets to the bottom of consent issues. I wish all schools could have her.

I think another part of the problem, not just a left-right thing, is the widespread misunderstanding that rape is about sex and that an attractive, well-to-do man who would be likely to find a sexual partner freely would have no 'need' to rape.

If the accusation was of another kind of violence and entitlement e.g. if said man punched a delivery guy for bringing the wrong kind of pizza, I think fewer people would say "I don't believe he did that, he didn't 'need' to, he could afford to buy a second pizza after all, if it did happen, the guy must have provoked him." I think they would be more likely to say "what an entitled, violent prick" or words to that effect.

I have no studies, just a feeling.

MerlinScot Wed 22-Aug-12 22:20:25

theDoctrineofEnnis, what a smart comparison!! I remember when Russell Crowe had the infamous phone-throwing incident there were people actually wondering why he had to beat a receptionist up given that being rich he could use his mobile phone to ring his wife in Australia (I don't know if someone remembers that he lost his marbles after he couldn't reach his wife through the hotel's phone lines). Nobody doubted he did that, he was guilty from the beginning. I wonder what people would have said if he had raped or attempted to rape a woman... probably that he's too charming (or he was) and he didn't need to force anyone to do that.... :/

GothAnneGeddes Thu 23-Aug-12 13:45:24

Thanks for all the links on this thread.

There has indeed been Olympic level throwing - of women under the bus that is.

KRITIQ is spot on as to why men have this blindspot relating to sexism/misogyny.

One glimmer of light will be if this had lead to a wider discussion about consent and men actually taking that on board. <foolish optimist emoticon>

EldritchCleavage Thu 23-Aug-12 13:46:21

lookat this very interesting take on the Assange debacle.

TheDoctrineOfEnnis Thu 23-Aug-12 14:06:53

Do you know what I am finding today?

Around the boards there are women asking "was I raped" "was I sexually assaulted" ...when they are describing events where it was clear they didnt consent.

As a positive nearly every poster, and not just WBY regulars, are saying "yes you were I am sorry"

But if so many women are unsure in themselves that something was rape, which was so clearly is when described to an outside observer, whither the "women cry rape" logic?

I am sure far more women don't recognise that they were raped than ever "cry rape" before we even start the numbers of those who know they were but never told, only told a friend, went to the police but didn't progress etc.

I hope that is clear. I am sad about it all today.

StewieGriffinsMom Thu 23-Aug-12 16:57:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MerlinScot Fri 24-Aug-12 08:58:37

"But if so many women are unsure in themselves that something was rape, which was so clearly is when described to an outside observer, whither the "women cry rape" logic?"

Because the women cry rape logic exists a lot unfortunately. I'll venture a bit more saying that many of the false rape allegations are staged making the police believe the woman was raped following the prejudice and the rape myths. Very often the liars report the rape with their clothes shredded, with possibly self-inflicted scratches, crying like a baby tehy were raped by those brutes of their exes, etc.
Many women aren't believed because they're unsure themselves about what happened. Unfortunately, that's the norm.

I reported my ex for DV the first time, because I was living in fear of his threats, abuse, and violence. In the first report, I stated that I had been sexually blackmailed (my ex asking for sex or he would have done this and that) and abused. Only one month later, speaking to a Women's Aid volunteer I reported him for rape because I had been forced and had physical damages happened in 4 occasions.

TheDoctrineOfEnnis Fri 24-Aug-12 09:20:47

Merlin you have shared some of your story before and I am so sorry sad

Looking after DS right now but will be back later.

Whatmeworry Fri 24-Aug-12 09:32:39

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?

IMO in this particular case its very risky to ignore the bigger picture, for a whole lot of reasons. The one that concerns me most is the increasing evidence emerging over the last few days that Sweden could have interviewed him in the UK, continually chose not to despite being invited, but still won't give their reasons why not. (BBC, here for example)

Incidentally, it would seem that both Naomi Wolf and Women Aganist Rape are against extradition.

Whatmeworry - someone already mentioned this link above which touches on the 'questioning' thing...
http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/david-allen-green/2012/08/legal-myths-about-assange-extradition

What I've read elsewhere is that second-stage interviews (after arrest, before charging) have to take place in Sweden/on Swedish soil (and the murder interviewed in Serbia or wherever was taken back for that second interview). If that's the case and Assange doesn't want to risk being kidnapped by the CIA en route to Sweden (which is the only thing that would make leaving the UK riskier than staying put wrt extradition) then he should volunteer to go to the Swedish embassy which is technically Swedish soil. I've not heard him make that offer.

The UK court judgement (linked from said article) makes good reading.

StewieGriffinsMom Fri 24-Aug-12 10:30:36

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

EldritchCleavage Fri 24-Aug-12 12:19:26

Sweden could have interviewed him in the UK, continually chose not to despite being invited, but still won't give their reasons why not

That has been canvassed on another thread. I think it was Kladdkaka (Swedish, or at least resident in Sweden) explained it. He has to be interviewed in a police station, and they can't use fiction of just designating some where in the UK as one. It would only delay the inevitable anyway-they question him, say 'OK, come back to face trial' and he would still say no.

People also don't seem to realise he is now in the formal prosecution process-the procedure and language is very different from the UK and so misleading. Sweden has a very different system, they formally 'charge' at the last moment and trial must then follow within 2 weeks. All this was explained in the UK court proceedings and the 3 courts all accepted JA is at a stage equivalent to being charged in the UK. So it isn't a case where the Swedes are still deciding if there is a case to answer. They are prosecuting him for these alleged offences, as I understand it.

MerlinScot Fri 24-Aug-12 13:09:49

EldritchCleavage, thanks for explaining that.

Anyway, Assange seems to act like he knows he's guilty of the charges... why did he hide in the Ecuador embassy in the first place? Because he knows he can't be extradited from there, it is like Equadorian soil...

This seems like a copy of what happened with the famous Italian murderer and terrorist Cesare Battisti.

I don't know why everybody is fooled by the whole mess CIA-USA-wikileaks. It seems Assange is using that excuse to escape a conviction, not the opposite.

A lefty barrister friend of mine (like many others) gives the Swedish govt's involvement in rendition, as a valid reason for JA not going to Sweden.

Thanks to MN and the brilliant info/threads here, I was able to point out in return that the Amnesty report of Sweden's involvement in rendition was in 2006. However in 2010 JA himself chose Sweden as the safest possibly harbour for him to settle in Europe. Until he was about to be charged with rape that is -then he fled the country the day before.

It's fairly safe to assume that JA, being such a well informed person in these matters, was well aware of Swedens involvement with rendition yet still chose it as the best place for him to reside & work.

EldritchCleavage Fri 24-Aug-12 16:28:38

But we were much more involved in rendition. So why did JA come here?

Good question - why did he come to UK?
Large influential English using media perhaps?

Whatmeworry Fri 24-Aug-12 20:51:58

Naomi Wolf isn't a feminist and Women Against Rape have some fairly dodgy feminist credentials

...ie they disagree with you. They are the Wrong Sort Of Feminists, clearly grin

Whatmeworry Fri 24-Aug-12 20:55:29

That has been canvassed on another thread. I think it was Kladdkaka (Swedish, or at least resident in Sweden) explained it. He has to be interviewed in a police station, and they can't use fiction of just designating some where in the UK as one. It would only delay the inevitable anyway-they question him, say 'OK, come back to face trial' and he would still say no

The link I pointed to is later than that and straight from the BBC Radio 4 interviewing Karin Rosander, Director of Communications for the Swedish Prosecution Authority. In it she says clearly they could have/can interview Assange in the UK, the case prosecutor doesn''t want to, but won't say why. I doubt its procedural.

Whatmeworry Fri 24-Aug-12 20:56:33

But we were much more involved in rendition. So why did JA come here?

That is a damned good question.

TheDoctrineOfEnnis Fri 24-Aug-12 21:28:21

Whatme, I'm sure in the UK some senior people within the justice system think one approach is right whilst others would pick another.

I haven't listened to your link - did she say "well it could have been done this way or that but we chose this way" or did she say "the way chosen was highly unusual" or words to that effect? As the UK high court went through several appeals wrt the extradition request and still ruled it valid, it seems likely that it was a reasonable approach. Have you read the record of the extradition appeal on judiciary.gov.uk? It's quite interesting.

TheDoctrineOfEnnis Fri 24-Aug-12 21:43:54

Ok whatme I have listened to it now, the interviewer is saying that in the past some interviews have been carried out overseas by video link etc, and all the interviewee is saying is that the prosecutor has decided it is necessary for Assange to be interviewed in Sweden, and at this stage of the investigation the prosecutor doesn't want to spell out her reasons for this decision.

That doesn't seem out of whack with the kind of interview judiciary would give in this country about an ongoing case, quite often reasons cannot be given because it would compromise a legal case or invade privacy or whatever.

StormGlass Fri 24-Aug-12 21:54:42

I also think it's a bit odd that Women Against Rape seem to be saying that Assange shouldn't be prosecuted, simply because they "cannot ignore this threat" of extradition to the US.

There's a clear implication that they think justice for victims of sexual violence should take second place to the alleged perpetrators right to political asylum in this case. It seems like a strange attitude from an organsation called Women Against Rape. It's almost like they're suggesting it's okay to brush sexual violence under the carpet if the alleged perpetrator has also done lots of good non-violent things that Women Against Rape approve of.

HoldMeCloserTonyDanza Sat 25-Aug-12 02:04:45

Exactly StormGlass and it sort of begs the question who else is so special and important that it doesn't matter that they are a rapist? Barack Obama's been a force for political good, how many free rapes does that earn him?

TheDoctrineOfEnnis Sat 25-Aug-12 07:56:36

I think there were similar arguments in some quarters re DSK - at a time of (economic) crisis, we mustn't bother the Great Men with such matters.

The fact that there will always be an economic crisis somewhere, so that would have been a career-long "get out of jail free" card for DSK didn't seem to matter!

MerlinScot Sat 25-Aug-12 08:58:59

"There's a clear implication that they think justice for victims of sexual violence should take second place to the alleged perpetrators right to political asylum in this case. It seems like a strange attitude from an organsation called Women Against Rape. It's almost like they're suggesting it's okay to brush sexual violence under the carpet if the alleged perpetrator has also done lots of good non-violent things that Women Against Rape approve of."

It seems that way to me too. And it's a scary idea. My ex had a free ticket for rape and abuse because of who he was volunteering for.

How many exceptions are there for being convicted for rape? That might explains why in Scotland the convictions are only 3%..... shock

Then I must spend some time online to understand what good things this JA did for the world peace and people. I thought the last good one to walk this earth was mother Theresa of Calcutta.

Must update myself blush

OneMoreChap Sat 25-Aug-12 15:43:31

MerlinScot Sat 25-Aug-12 08:58:59
I thought the last good one to walk this earth was mother Theresa of Calcutta. ... and there is more than one view of her, too.

To the thread: I think Sweden should say they aren't in the least interested in extraditing JA to the states (which I think the US is after, actually). Then I think JA should go to face the questioning and charges.

I've read [in translation] some of the Swedish stuff, and they really have been a bit slack with following their own processes. Look at how well the UK police do, and it isn't all that surprising.

TheDoctrineOfEnnis Sat 25-Aug-12 15:53:54

OMC they can't say that though - there is no US extradition request to accept or deny as yet. Uf he is extradited to Sweden both Sweden and uk would need to agree to any onward extradition, which I assume would take place after any trial (and subsequent sentence if applicabke)

OneMoreChap Sat 25-Aug-12 16:01:43

TheDoctrineOfEnnis Sat 25-Aug-12 15:53:54
OMC they can't say that though - there is no US extradition request to accept or deny as yet.

Not publicly, at least.

Uf he is extradited to Sweden both Sweden and uk would need to agree to any onward extradition, which I assume would take place after any trial (and subsequent sentence if applicabke)

yes, Britain's got a good record for sending people to the US - (and Sweden, of course).

I think he needs to get in front of a Swedish court. It will disappoint me if he does, isn't found guilty and ends up in US detention.

TheDoctrineOfEnnis Sat 25-Aug-12 16:16:36

But why, OMC? One assumes that if Sweden hadn't decided there was a case against him, he would have pootled about the world until the extradition request came through to whatever jurisdiction he was in at the time. The Swedish trial may be over before any extradition request is made.

OneMoreChap Sat 25-Aug-12 17:25:40

Apparently, it is alleged, a sealed indictment has been produced.

I think he should go to Sweden FWIW. It's likely their own abuse of process has damaged any possible case, sadly.

Whatmeworry Sat 25-Aug-12 17:30:56

That doesn't seem out of whack with the kind of interview judiciary would give in this country about an ongoing case, quite often reasons cannot be given because it would compromise a legal case or invade privacy or whatever

No, that's not it at all. The Swedish Prosecutors Office could easily have said all that, but didn't - despite Martha Kearney coming at it from a number of angles in that interview. It is very clear that they did not want to talk about the reasons she did not follow fairly standard Swedish procedures.

If you read the Swedish papers its clearer (eg SvenskaDagbladet)

Whatmeworry Sat 25-Aug-12 17:33:26

There's a clear implication that they think justice for victims of sexual violence should take second place to the alleged perpetrators right to political asylum in this case. It seems like a strange attitude from an organsation called Women Against Rape. It's almost like they're suggesting it's okay to brush sexual violence under the carpet if the alleged perpetrator has also done lots of good non-violent things that Women Against Rape approve of.

I think that's a complete and wilful misrepresentation of what they said, not that I'm surprised you did it, seems par for the course in this debate.

But the main point re the OP's question is that there are Femsinist groups who do think differently to the MN RadFem bubble here

Whatmeworry Sat 25-Aug-12 17:39:10

^^Whatmeworry - someone already mentioned this link above which touches on the 'questioning' thing...
http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/david-allen-green/2012/08/legal-myths-about-assange-extradition^^

Yet another pundit mouthing off...already been asked to correct his story by he Guardian.

MerlinScot Sat 25-Aug-12 17:46:28

Question.... but why are we discussing Assange extradition and trial while he's already on Ecuador's soil?

Am I wrong or it isn't possible to be extradited from Ecuador, for any reason? I thought they had already given him political asylum.

TheDoctrineOfEnnis Sat 25-Aug-12 18:32:51

Merlin, he isn't on Ecuador's soil, he is in the Ecuadorian Embassy which is granted certain diplomatic privileges by the UK government, which can be "overruled" in certain circumstances (following the shooting of Yvonne Fletcher when police were unable to apprehend the shooter by entering the embassy, the law was changed). So until the UK do that "overrule" or Assange steps outside the embassy, he can't be arrested but he also can't go to Ecuador!

TheDoctrineOfEnnis Sat 25-Aug-12 19:15:37

Whatme, the area in which the guardian asks the new statesman to correct the story is NOT with respect to whether the questioning could take place here but as to whether or not the final decision to extradite Assange from Sweden tO the us would rest with the Swedish courts or the Swedish parliament

MerlinScot Sat 25-Aug-12 21:59:42

TheDoE, I was convinced 100% that when you're inside an embassy you are benefiting of the same advantages like being on the saem country's soil...
I must update myself about that too.

Anyway, for the moment it seems that this situation isn't going anywhere. He's not leaving the embassy but he can't be arrested inside.

TheDoctrineOfEnnis Sat 25-Aug-12 22:40:10

Merlin (I have typed your name a few times now and phone has finally stopped autocorrecting to Merkin blush but is now trying with Berlin!) I think it used to be like that re soil but now it's more a figure of speech. Plus the Ecuadorian embassy is in an office block near Harrods so has no roof for Bond-style helicopter rescue of Assange. He's stuck there - though they might have got him a non-air bed by now.

JuliaScurr Mon 27-Aug-12 13:59:19

Women Against Rape are part of Crossroads, inc Wages for Housework, English Collective of Prostitutes

they think they're Marxists - they're not

http://www.marxists.org/subject/women/authors/davis-angela/housework.htm

JuliaScurr Mon 27-Aug-12 14:00:04
StewieGriffinsMom Tue 28-Aug-12 16:07:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Whatmeworry Tue 28-Aug-12 22:41:58

Ecuador has a great track record of extraditing people when it suits them

I think the UK and Sweden's enthusiasm in this case has taken quite a lot of people by surprise....Ecuador at least has the benefit of being anti-American.

KRITIQ Tue 28-Aug-12 22:59:51

And American has a track record of covert activities in that region to topple governments and questionable means of extracting people they want. Rafael Correa won't be in office forever. His successor might be tempted to hand over his "prize" to the US for the right "price."

Whatmeworry Wed 29-Aug-12 00:56:21

Sure, he is swapping today's certain frying pan for tomorrow's possible fire, and hoping something comes up in the meantime - but this way there is a meantime.

KRITIQ Wed 29-Aug-12 00:59:54

I wouldn't put money on that myself, but you can if you like!

TheDoctrineOfEnnis Mon 03-Sep-12 17:56:48
hopkinsthewitchfindergeneral Fri 07-Sep-12 19:26:21

how Julian Assange uber geek of the cyber world could have consensual sex with anyone is beyond me so on that basis alone the verdict HAS to point to rape doesn't it ? He spends longer in front of a PC than people who post on "gender sensitive enlightened" forums

wisdomoflollygag Fri 07-Sep-12 22:13:11

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Thedoctrineofennis Fri 07-Sep-12 22:50:05

Hopkins that is bollocks.

Lollygag, so is that.

TheDoctrineOfSnatch Tue 09-Oct-12 09:08:32
EmmyFlavs Fri 10-May-13 17:43:40

wisdom, this isnt about liking or disliking, the fact of the matter is, he has been accused of serious sexual crimes and these girls have the right to have their day in court. None of us, not pro or anti Julian Assange knows the finer details of the case, and none of us are in the right Forum, the Forum should be a court room. Its fair to point out that Wikileaks is separate from Julian Assange, he is using Wiki and his followers to evade Court, and before you start talking about some extradition to the USA, that is purely in ASSANGES mind, and you will NOT find any evidence that full supports his claim, it is purely speculation. He has hidden himself away in an Embassy of a country who does NOT afford the civil liberties that Julian Assange claims to 'strive to achieve ' for the rest of us.

This man who once was enigmatic and rebellious, has fallen to the same paranoia as the likes of George Galloway.

Those women, deserve their day in Court, and Wisdom, so by your rational, ''because you like Julian Assange then that means he couldn't possibly rape anyone'' yes? Is that the jist of it?

memberfor Sat 11-May-13 02:34:08

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memberfor Sat 11-May-13 02:35:08

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memberfor Sat 11-May-13 02:37:31

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Sunnywithshowers Sat 11-May-13 02:39:26

I think Assange should go back and face the music, frankly. And if the two women are lying (as you allege memberfor) then he will be found innocent.

memberfor Sat 11-May-13 02:41:25

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memberfor Sat 11-May-13 02:43:28

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Sunnywithshowers Sat 11-May-13 02:45:24

Have you considered that the reason Ardin has accused someone of sexual molestation is because she was sexually assaulted? Radical feminists get raped / sexually assaulted too you know.

memberfor Sat 11-May-13 02:46:22

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memberfor Sat 11-May-13 02:47:26

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HullMum Sat 11-May-13 15:10:26

have any of you heard of code pink? I was disturbed to find and email from then listing Assange as a notable person also taking part in the hunger strike they were promoting angry aparentlt we should all strive to be like a notable rapist

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