Complainants of rape and sexual assault have rights too: the desperation of Julian Assange

Julian Assange today sought refuge in the London Embassy of Ecuador.   It is reported he is seeking political asylum.

 

Assange is, of course, entitled to assert whatever legal rights he has in resisting extradition to Sweden to answer serious allegations of rape and sexual assault.

 

But every delay, every evasion, of Assange in answering these allegations is also a further delay in dealing with the allegations.

 

It appears to me that Assange’s ploy is just another desperate stunt to frustrate and circumvent due process for investigating these allegations.

 

The allegations of rape and sexual assault against Assange are serious, and they require answering.

 

There is something which should not be forgotten in all this.

 

Complainants of rape and sexual assault have rights too.

 

 

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11 thoughts on “Complainants of rape and sexual assault have rights too: the desperation of Julian Assange”

  1. Desperation is the word. What is he going to do? Spend the rest of his life in an embassy? The second he leaves in order to travel to Ecuador, he re-enters British Jurisdiction were he will be arrested for jumping bail.

  2. Yeah, even charges trumped by to make Assange look bad should be looked into – I love to see who is pulling the strings in the background to make sure Assange’s reputation is trashed.

    I wonder the powers that be just didnt go the whole hog and fit Assange up as a ‘peadophile’. Plant a few pictures on his computer – sorted. Perhaps he was too clever for that so they went down the sexual assault route.

    And of course there are all the ‘useful idiots’ out there – upset at the ‘secrets’ Assange has helped reveal – who more than happy to help try and destroy his reputation. For an example, see above.

    1. Whatever people may have thought of him before I don’t think there needs now to be anyone “pulling the strings in the background to make sure Assange’s reputation is trashed”.
      His own account of his behaviour in respect of the allegations of assault and his behaviour subsequently seem quite sufficient to do that without any help from mysterious third parties.
      If he wanted to find a country that didn’t have an extradition treaty with the USA I’m sure there are plenty with better records on press freedom than Ecuador.

  3. This whole thing that Assange says he shouldn’t be extradited to Sweden because then he could be sent to US for torture is just utter nonsense. Which country was invading Iraq with the US? Sweden? No, it was the UK. Which is in military alliance with the US? Sweden? No, the UK. Which one has been toy poodle of the US? Not Sweden. So why he went to UK in the first place?

    The best explanation seems to me to be that he is actually trying to evade being investigated and sentenced for something he did to women.

    Assange could credibly claim that his rights might be violated when sending him to Sweden because Swedish law is biased against men in rape cases, because Sweden is a feminist activist country. But these fantasies about fear of extradition are plain rubbish. I wonder how supposedly sane and credible people can hear it with a straight face.

  4. I would make three points.

    Firstly, President Correa of Ecuador is no friend of the USA. I would not put it past the current presidency of Ecuador to cause problems just to cause problems; Assange is potentially a good PR tool for Ecuador and, given that they can make common cause on their dislike of the US, there may yet be further delays.

    Secondly, Ecuador doesn’t exactly have a shining record when it comes to newspaper freedoms – see .

    Thirdly, as you say, it’s an old maxim that justice delayed is justice denied.

  5. I’d be interested on you describing the law in this situation. As I understand it the embassy is sovereign territory so the police cannot just go in there and arrest Assange for breach of his bail conditions (failing to meet tonight’s 10pm curfew); however, what then? Presumably if Ecuador doesn’t grant him asylum he’ll be turfed out of the embassy and then arrested and deported? If he is granted asylum, is there any law that protects him whilst in the care of the Ecuadorian government outside of the embassy whilst still in Britain (i.e. in a car to Heathrow) or that requires the British government to allow him to leave (i.e. allow any plane he might be on to take off)?

    If not, what is the point of seeking asylum so publicly, surely quietly slipping off to Europe and seeking asylum at an Ecuadorian embassy elsewhere would have had a higher probability of success?

  6. It has long been known that justice delayed is justice denied. I can’t help but think that in Assange’s mind, it’s HIS justice that is being denied. I hope he realizes that, innocent or not, he’s denying it for others.

  7. To be fair, though, if Assange is extradited to Sweden the odds are good that the Swedes are merely acting as a way-station and will hand him over to America, where he’ll be tried on charges of espionage, or disappear into the black hole of Guantanamo forever without trial. I don’t like Assange very much, but he should not be railroaded like this.

  8. Kimpatsu – Can you explain why “the odds are good”? As extradition to a 3rd country would now require the consent of both the UK and Swedish courts, it seems that it would have been much simpler for the US to request extradition direct from the UK. This seems to be a constant refrain from Assange supporters, but don’t they never point to any legal reasoning as to why this could be so.

  9. You’ve made the point on Twitter that Assange could be directly extradited to the US without much legal difficulty. However it is likely that were such a process to be undertaken then Assange’s team would very likely say that there was a possibility that he would stand trial for espionage and face a possible death penalty. And many’s the time the UK has refused to extradite to other countries because of their refusal to rule out the death penalty. Which is why the US may conceivably be trying to go via Sweden, who may or may not have any form and qualms on the death penalty extradition issue.

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