The Swedish Case Against Assange Was Always Political

| Educate!

Above Photo: Julian Assange gestures to media from a police vehicle on his arrival at Westminster Magistrates court in April. The Ecuadorian Embassy in London had withdrawn his asylum after seven years.CREDIT:GETTY IMAGES

It is almost a decade since Julian Assange woke to discover, on the front page of a Swedish newspaper, that Swedish authorities had decided to pursue him on allegations of sexual misconduct. Immediately, Julian presented himself to the police station to make a statement and clear his name. After speaking with prosecutors, he was told he could leave the country; so he did.

It was only after his arrival in London that an Interpol notice was issued for his arrest. In the meantime, Assange sought and was granted asylum in the Ecuadorian embassy on the grounds that he would be subjected to grave human rights abuses should he be extradited to the US. Despite years of his legal team requesting that Swedish authorities provide assurances that he would not be extradited onwards to the US, the opportunity for Assange to formally clear his name was never afforded to him. Nor was the right to the presumption of innocence. Many in the media still falsely claim that charges were laid. It was trial by media.

The political nature of the Swedish case became apparent from the beginning. As early as 2013, emails from the UK Crown Prosecution Service, released under Freedom of Information, demonstrated that the prosecutors wanted to drop the case. However, pressure was placed on them to keep it open – and they were told not to get “cold feet”. The London-based organisation Women Against Rape point out that the case was pursued with “unusual zeal” and concluded it was only  pursued for the simple fact that he has uncovered war crimes.

Let’s make one thing clear, any sexual misconduct allegations should be treated seriously. But, as Women Against Rape and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture point out, this case was never about protecting the women involved; it was about ensuring the focus was kept off the war crimes that  WikiLeaks exposed, and assassinating Assange’s character.

The decision now to drop the investigation is welcome news for Assange and his legal team, and removes the possibility of extradition from Sweden to the US. However, the fact remains that an Australian citizen is being pursued by the Trump administration for political purposes and is facing serious human rights violations if extradited to the US.

Currently, Assange is held on remand in Belmarsh prison, in conditions that are exacerbating his already fragile health, and impeding his ability to prepare his defence. He is facing unprecedented charges under the US Espionage Act, for allegedly carrying out actions that journalists and publishers engage in as a part of their work. He is facing 175 years – an effective death sentence – for allegedly engaging in journalism.

And let’s not forget the material that was exposed by WikiLeaks. The releases included evidence of war crimes, including torture and unlawful killings, perpetrated during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and the Guantanamo files, which demonstrated that the majority of men, and children, were being held and tortured at the prison, even though they were innocent of any crime.

We need to ask ourselves why the focus is not on the crimes perpetrated by those involved in war crimes. Why is an Australian citizen being subjected to US espionage laws even though he was never on US soil? More importantly, why should an Australian citizen have allegiance to the US?

Australia and the Morrison government now face the stark choice. Do we defend an Australian citizen facing rendition and an effective death sentence, because of Trump – a President facing impeachment. Or do we abandon him?

  • Rob Nelson

    “2:00 p.m.” Wed., Nov. 20th, 2019.

    Social media continues to assimilate our minds and thus make huge attempts to alter our existence on these platforms.

    We must keep our eyes, ears and particularily our minds “open” to critical thinking.

    Many folks still believe it is worth it to be skeptical of our institutions. We should be skeptical of them. Truly.

    We are winning, I think.

    The year of 2020 will soon be upon us and the following individual “Eagle Eye” and founder of Wikileaks,

    his legal case, is critically important to all of us. Why?? Let me put it this way. If Mr. Assuage’s legal case closes against him

    we can begin to wonder, seriously, what will become of “freedom of speech,” “democracy,” “freedom of the Press,” etc.

    However, life is not a merry-go-round, to suggest a metaphor: thus we can’t jump off the merry-go-round,

    stand back, and point to certain aspects of this merry-go-round. Life continues to evolve and the World will

    keep on turning, and as it should. However, we are educated inhabitants of modern society, and we still

    think we know the difference between what is “Fact” vs. “Fiction.” Again, social media platforms are

    media tools which are being used to assimilate our minds, our thought processes. Here is one article, an example

    to best illustrate, the social dilemma of separating “Fact” vs. “Fiction

  • Lili-Ann Berg

    To abandon Julian Assange is to abandon all claims to be considered a compassionate, honest and intelligent human being. Actually, not even a human being- just a sorry excuse for one,

    By not standing up for Assange is to condone the shameful and cowardly actions by the Swedish, Australian, Ecuadorian and UK authorities, who are grovelling like pathetic dogs before the criminal US empire.

    And Sweden has only dropped the case against Assange because the two women, who falsely accused him of sexual misconduct has chickened out, scared of being revealed as the contemptible liars they really are. It was all a politically motivated set-up by the CIA and the all too complicit Swedish equivalent in order to sully Assange reputation.

    What is happening to Assange is unforgivable and inhumane. Abandon him and you abandon the right to ever know the truth

  • Steven Gaylord

    Dumping a truck full of horse manure on front steps of the DoJ (or any place that unjustly condemns Assange) comes to mind. It’s all horseshit what they’re doing. Send a message.

  • The Trump up Canberra’s sleeve is to quite simply threaten to expell all US military from Australia – Close all US military bases including the telecommunication spy bases that are dotted around the continent and send all US military personnel packing and permanently close its ports to all future US naval visits.

    Australia isn’t in charge of her own sovereignty – It hasnt even severed ties to the Crown corporation from where it’s legal structure and it’s constitution originates which open another can of worms since Australia’s tribal sovereigns have never ceded sovereignty to the Crown corporation.

    All at the same time The Canberra Poodle club is both promisqous yet dangerously submissively to Washington diktat which doesn’t even require a whip to control and direct the Canberra’s policies which produces one disastrous consequence for it’s own citizens after another.

    The Canberra poodle club functions like a brothel with Washington as it’s madam.

  • It’s clear to see that the legal system doesn’t abide by their own rules – they’re as exceptional as the worst war criminals.

  • Lili-Ann Berg

    Aussie satire at its best – thank you! Have shared it.

  • Steven Gaylord

    Sadly, the Rule of Law no longer applies to; what was American jurisprudence. Exciting times, maybe? Let’s hope that the present isn’t recorded by future historians as “dismally dystopian”.

  • Glad you liked it !

  • If the rule of law no longer applies – perhaps that could be interpreted as – it never really did anyway there’s one set of rules for the elite and another for the plebs

    It’s only since the Wikileaks revelations that we’ve all been able to learn how our Western government’s are really conspiring against the people they’re meant to represent.

    When their crimes are exposed for all to see and it ain’t the war criminals who’ve ended up in jail but the journalist and the whistleblowers such as Assange and Manning – then and very reluctantly one might conclude that we’re already living in dystopian times.

  • Not true. Just for those that NEEDED truth to believe needed the wikileaks stuff. The masses but not all of them.

  • Why Australia wont help its own hero and prophet #JulianAssange.

  • Exactly because ever since the CIA orchestrated Gough Whitlam dismissal coup by the far right – The Canberra Poodle Club has served as a submissive puppet to US diktat.

    Australala [pun intended] was a founding member of the UN If they actually abided by those values they could threaten to expel all US military personnel and spybases in exchange for Assange’s freedom – in the end Canberra has done a great deal more to secure the freedom of Peter Grestle [Al Jazeera] yet who does not speak out for Assange] and David Hicks who was held at Guantanamo [Whatever happened to him I don’t know it appears that he’s not allowed to speak on these matters.