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?

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

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

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Message withdrawn at poster's request.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.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now