WikiLeaks: Assange’s detention unfair, dehumanising

Issue 
Assange has been under house arrest in Britain for more than six months.

WikiLeaks released the statement below on June 16 to mark six months since its editor-in-chief Julian Assange was placed under house arrest in Britain.

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Today, June 16 2011, Julian Assange will have spent six months under house arrest. He has not been charged with a crime in any country. The conditions of his detention are excessive and dehumanising.

A Swedish prosecutor, Marianne Ny submitted a European Arrest Warrant for questioning in relation to a preliminary investigation regarding allegations of sexual misconduct in Sweden.

The allegations are controversial due to the involvement of a politician in reopening the investigation, which was previously closed, the actions of Swedish police and because both complainants (who went to the police together after meeting each other) admit to multiple consensual sexual acts, over multiple days, with Mr Assange.

Both complainants admit consenting to sex and that consent to sex was not removed at any stage. The allegation made is that Mr Assange did not immediately inform the complainants that a condom had split or that he was not wearing a condom.

Although Mr Assange has volunteered to be heard using standard European cooperation mechanisms such as the Mutual Legal Assistance.

These offers have, without explanation, been refused. Due to the “rubber stamp” nature of the European Arrest Warrant system, Mr Assange cannot put the allegations to the test.

However, even the allegations as they are made do not amount to crimes in Britain. If he were to go to Sweden he would be kept in detention indefinitely and incommunicado.

If charged, he will be subjected to a trial held in secret. He will not be allowed to see all the evidence against him.

Outside observers will not be able to scrutinise the merits of the case.

Julian Assange voluntarily stayed in Sweden for four weeks to clear his name. During this time he repeatedly tried to arrange a time to be questioned.

The prosecutor who issued the European Arrest Warrant and the Interpol red notice was asked if he could leave Sweden, and she confirmed that he could.

Only after Julian Assange had arrived in Britain and moments before WikiLeaks started to publish the US Diplomatic Cables, the Swedish authorities decided to issue a European Arrest Warrant and, unusually, an Interpol Red Notice.



In the US, the Obama administration declared Julian Assange and WikiLeaks to be “hi tech terrorists”. Both the Pentagon and the CIA initiated publicly declared task forces.

In Australia, Julian Assange’s home country, the government started a “whole of government task force” into WikiLeaks, including both their intelligence agencies, the Department of Defence and the Federal Police.

However, after public outrage, the Australian government subsequently found no laws had been breached and dismissed the inquiries.

Back in Sweden, the Swedish government, in violation of its own laws gave Julian Assange’s identity and the details of the unconfirmed allegations against him to the press, defaming him around the world.

When agreements that allowed for Julian Assange’s safe travel to Sweden to give his side of the story were not honoured, Julian Assange continued to request a hearing with the Swedish authorities from Britain.

Despite this, Sweden has refused to cooperate with him and resorted to excessive force by preventing his freedom of movement.

The Swedish government has refused to state that it will not hand over Mr Assange to the United States. This is why he is fighting this disproportionate and unfair extradition order.

Whilst fighting this battle, and trying to continue with his important work for freedom of information, he is being forced to remain in unfair and undignified conditions.

On the six-month anniversary of his house arrest his supporters and staff have been interviewed to explain their perspective of his bail conditions and describe their impact on Julian Assange, and WikiLeaks’ work.

Comments

The facts you have published here seem to the point and easy to understand...the whole scenario as explained: the virtual house arrest without having been charged; to be held incommunicado and without time limit - if sent back to Sweden on July 12th; to have to face a trial in secret - if charges are eventually made - for a 'crime' that is not a crime here; a court hearing in private so no public or peers can scrutinise; JA not allowed to see all the evidence etc.... all seem to be a fundamental contravention of his or anyone's human rights - and is disproportionate.

It must be political, a Swedish politician reopened the closed case. America can exert pressure on Sweden through its considerable trade links and given that Sweden has 'right of centre' politicians in the majority now for the first time for around 40 years, extradition to USA would almost certainly follow.
For the record I do not think JA is an abuser of women, as, if he was, at his age there would have been others only too pleased to testify and none have come out of the wood work to do so.
Would a petition help or hinder I wonder? Sandi Dunn

The facts? I would more characterize them of an interpretation based on a person opinion. Assange is currently appealing his extradition to Sweden, and that hearing starts on July 12th. There seems to be a misunderstand of how the legal procedure works for both rape cases, and extradition hearing. To get an in depth view finding the original court ruling, research the procedures for rape cases, and extradition laws would be helpful. It is up to individuals to do their own "scientific journalism," by doing the research and applying rigorous analysis on what is found. Even though the term "scientific journalism" is believed to be coined by Assange, I believe that nothing unusual will be found out about his case.

Every time I hear about Julian Assange I think of what a giant embarrassment this is for the Swedish and American governments.

No one takes these sex charges seriously. Every act of injustice against Mr. Assange is equally a loss of credibility for the legal system.

Hopefully the result of all this is that people are waking up to realize they need to demand their rights back. Because that's what the Assange detention means to me.

I liked the article, but some disagree

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