[Guardian Unlimited, U.K.]

[Click Here for More Cartoons]



Sweden's Image Smeared by Missteps and Accusations of Assange Defenders (Dagens Nyheter, Sweden)


"For Rafael Correa, as for Hugo Chavez, asylum for Assange is not about justice and free speech, but about being a thorn in America's side. ... The demand for guarantees that Assange not be handed over to the U.S. is also irrelevant. The only thing that matters now is that he be interrogated by Swedish police regarding possible crimes he committed in Sweden. ... The very negative image of the Swedish legal system that the case has disseminated around the world is unfounded."




Translated By Peter Silverwood


August 18, 2012


Sweden - Dagens Nyheter - Original Article (Swedish)

Ecuador President Rafael Correa: What are his motives for challenging some of the world's leading powers to protect Julian Assange and freedom of the press?


teleSUR NEWS VIDEO, VENEZUELA [STATE RUN]: Legendary former Spain Judge Baltazar Garzón, representing Mr. Assnage, insists that Britian should award Assange safe-conduct. If not, he threatens to take case to International Criminal Court, Aug, 17, 00:00:45.RealVideo

Ecuador announced Thursday that it has granted Julian Assange asylum. The government reasoned that Assange is a champion for freedom of speech and that there are doubts as to whether he would receive a fair trial in Sweden. The lack of guarantees from Sweden and Great Britain not he would not be handed over to the United States was one of the main reason asylum was approved.

Posted by Worldmeets.US


It is obvious that Ecuador President Rafael Correa - he was the first person to offer Assange asylum - is enjoying the moment in the international spotlight. He takes pleasure having the opportunity to point fingers at Europe and the U.S.


But in this case, the words freedom of expression and rule of law ring hollow. According to the latest report on freedom of speech from the democratic organization Freedom House, Ecuador is characterized by, "An increasing culture of harassment against journalists [that] has resulted in part from President Rafael Correa’s open hostility to the media." And when Transparency International assesses the independence of courts in different countries, Ecuador ranks 130 out of 142 countries (Sweden comes in third).


Rafael Correa is an ideological soul mate of Hugo Chávez. For him, as for Chavez, asylum for Assange is not about justice and free speech, but about being a thorn in America's side - and that Correa would like to be the same.




Like Worldmeets.US on Facebook


The demand for guarantees that Assange not be handed over to the United States is also irrelevant. The only thing that matters now is that he be interrogated by Swedish police regarding possible crimes he committed in Sweden.


[Editor's Note: The Independent's Owen Jones describes the sexual allegations against Assange - keeping in mind that that the encounters were at least initially, consensual. The key question seems to be whether the accusers agreed or were in a condition to agree to sex without the use of a condom:


The allegation of one woman is that Assange had sex with her while she slept, without a condom. Assange's legal team claims that, while she immediately asked if he was wearing a condom and he answered not, she consented to continuing the encounter. But both women allegedly made their consent to sex contingent on Assange's use of a condom: unsurprisingly, given the huge potential risk to their health if he did not. ... Assange's lawyer described the allegations of the other woman in graphic detail in court. As he tried to penetrate her without a condom, she alleges, she repeatedly attempted to avoid penetration: her claim is that she tried "several times to reach for a condom which Assange had stopped her from doing by holding her arms and bending her legs open and try to penetrate her with his penis without using a condom".]


Ecuador also condemned Britain for issuing a statement that it may be possible to arrest Assange inside the Embassy. It is unfortunate that the British would even suggest withdrawing an embassy's diplomatic immunity. That they would actually do such a thing is highly unlikely because it would establish such a dangerous precedent.


In practice, what all this means is that Assange will remain in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London. The British Foreign Office stressed yesterday that asylum does not mean he will receive free passage out of the country. If Assange leaves the Embassy he will be arrested and extradited to Sweden. The chance that he will be smuggled out of the country seem reasonably small.

'Report from England'

Mummy One: 'Assange could escape in a diplomatic pouch.'

Mummy Two: Or perhaps under a [Galapagos] tortoise shell.'

[Hoy, Ecuador]


That in turn means that the course of justice is effectively blocked from running its course. Julian Assange is accused of rape and sexually molesting two women in Sweden. For almost two years it has been impossible to conclude the investigation against him, since he remains beyond the reach of Swedish jurisdiction. This means that the rights of the two women continue to be denied.


In the wake of news about the asylum, there will also be reason for some introspection on the part of Swedish authorities and government representatives.


The very negative image of the Swedish legal system that the case has disseminated around the world is unfounded. Sweden is a constitutional state and the Assange case has followed these principles, just as any potential trial would. But Swedish politicians have in some cases made ill-considered statements that have served as grist for the mills of those who accuse our courts of lacking independence.



Another such statement was made the other day by Social Affairs Minister Göran Hägglund, who called Assange a "scum bag." There is no reason for Swedish government officials to issue opinions on Assange's character.


In retrospect, it is a pity that the prosecutor didn't avail himself of the opportunity of  interrogating Assange in London. Naturally, he shouldn't be given special treatment nor should his behavior be rewarded. But allowing the legal process to run its course should be the top priority, so that the two women are accorded due process - justice. 



Hoy, Ecuador: Ecuador's Embassy - and All Embassies - are Off Limits to British Police

El Universo, Ecuador: Assange Grateful to Ecuador for Taking Up His Asylum Request

Gusrdian, U.K.: Embassy Cables Did Not Harm U.S.: Assange Will Not Be Extradited

Telegraph, U.K.: Why do We Buy Julian Assange's One-Man Psychodrama?

BBC, U.K.: Ecuador Ruling on WikiLeaks' Assange Due 'on Thursday'

SMH, Australia: Assange Threataned with Arrest

SMH, Australia: Australia Letter 'Spurs' Assange Flee

Guardian, U.K.: Assange Asylum Move is 'a Tragedy' for His Accusers: Lawyer

Guardian, U.K.: Julian Assange Requests Asylum at Ecuador Embassy - Live Coverage

Le Monde, France: Le Monde Names Julian Assange Man of the Year

Vremya, Russia: Good Riddance to the 'Zeroes': When the Nineties Turned Ugly

Die Zeit, Germany: If Only WikiLeaks Existed Before the Iraq War Began

Folha, Brazil: Testimony of Sex Charges Against Assange Don't Belong in Public

Guardian, U.K.: Ten Days in Sweden - The Full Allegations Against Assange

Libération, France: WikiLeaks: A War, But What Kind of War?

Le Monde, France: Le Monde Names Julian Assange Man of the Year

El Mundo, Spain: Julian Assange: The 21st Century 'Mick Jagger' of Data

Novaya Gazeta, Russia: An 'Assange' on Both Your Houses!

El País, Spain: Cables: Brazil Warned Chavez 'Not to Play' with U.S. 'Fire'

El Heraldo, Honduras: The Panic of 'America's Buffoon' Hugo Chavez

Jornal de Notícias, Portugal: If West Persecutes Assange, it Will What it Deserves

Correio da Manhã, Portugal: WikiLeaks: A 'Catastrophe' for Cyber-Dependent States

Romania Libera: WikiLeaks Undermines Radical Left; Confirms American Competence

Le Figaro, France: And the Winner of the Bout Over WikiLeaks is … America

News, Switzerland: Assange the Latest Fall Guy for Crimes of World's Power Elite

Libération, France: Who Rules? Hackers, the Press and Our Leaders - in that Order

Tal Cual, Venezuela: If Only WikiLeaks Would Expose President Chavez

Berliner Zeitung, Germany: Assault on Assange Betrays U.S. Founding Principles

El Universal, Mexico: WikiLeaks Revelations a Devastating Shock to Mexico

L'Orient Le Jour, Lebanon: WikiLeaks Makes 'Mockery' of 'U.S. Colossus'

Jornal de Negócios, Portugal: More than We Wanted to Know. Or Maybe Not!

DNA, France: The WikiLeaks Disclosures: A Journalist's Ambivalence

Global Times, China: WikiLeaks Poses Greater Risk to West's 'Enemies'

FAZ, Germany: Ahmadinejad's Chief-of-Staff Calls WikiLeaks Cables 'Lies'

Al-Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Saudis Ask: Who Benefitted from WikiLeaks Disclosure?

Guardian, U.K.: Cables Portray Saudi Arabia as a Cash Machine for Terrorists

El País, Spain: Cables Expose Nuance of U.S. Displeasure with Spain Government

El País, Spain: Thanks to WikiLeaks' Disclosure, Classical Diplomacy is Dead

Guardian, U.K.: Saudi Arabia Urges U.S. Attack on Iran

Hurriyet, Turkey: Erdogan Needs 'Anger Management' Over U.S. Cables

Saudi Gazette, Saudi Arabia: WikiLeaks Reveals 'Feeling, Flawed' Human Beings

Frontier Post, Pakistan: WikiLeaks Reveals 'America's Dark Face' to the World

The Nation: WikiLeaks' Release: An Invaluable Exposure of American Hypocrisy

Buenos Aires Herald, Argentina: Without Hypocrisy, Global Ties Would Be Chaos

Kayhan, Iran: WikiLeaks Release a 'U.S. Plot to Sow Discord'

El Universal, Mexico: WikiLeaks and Mexico's Battle Against Drug Trafficking

Toronto Star, Canada: WikiLeaks Dump Reveals Seamy Side of Diplomacy

Guardian, U.K.: WikiLeaks Cables, Day 3: Summary of Today's Key Points

Guardian, U.K.: Leaked Cables Reveal China is 'Ready to Abandon' North Korea

Hurriyet, Turkey: American Cables Prove Turkish Claims on Missile Defense False

The Nation, Pakistan: WikiLeaks: An Invaluable Exposure of American Hypocrisy

Kayhan, Iran: WikiLeaks Revelations a 'U.S. Intelligence Operation': Ahmadinejad

Novosti, Russia: 'Russia Will be Guided by Actions, Not Leaked Secrets'

Guardian, U.K.: Job of Media Is Not to Protect Powerful from Embarrassment




opinions powered by
blog comments powered by Disqus
























































[Posted by Worldmeets.US Aug. 20, 6:49am]


Bookmark and Share