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Thu Aug 23, 2012, 01:44 PM

Guardian: We are Women Against Rape but we do not want Julian Assange extradited

The European women's rights organization, Women Against Rape, has released another statement today regarding the British government's actions in the case of Julian Assange.

I've excerpted four paragraphs but the entire statement is worth reading at the link below.

Whether or not Assange is guilty of sexual violence, we do not believe that is why he is being pursued. Once again women's fury and frustration at the prevalence of rape and other violence, is being used by politicians to advance their own purposes. The authorities care so little about violence against women that they manipulate rape allegations at will, usually to increase their powers, this time to facilitate Assange's extradition or even rendition to the US. That the US has not presented a demand for his extradition at this stage is no guarantee that they won't do so once he is in Sweden, and that he will not be tortured as Bradley Manning and many others, women and men, have. Women Against Rape cannot ignore this threat.

In over 30 years working with thousands of rape victims who are seeking asylum from rape and other forms of torture, we have met nothing but obstruction from British governments. Time after time, they have accused women of lying and deported them with no concern for their safety. We are currently working with three women who were raped again after having been deported – one of them is now destitute, struggling to survive with the child she conceived from the rape; the other managed to return to Britain and won the right to stay, and one of them won compensation.

Assange has made it clear for months that he is available for questioning by the Swedish authorities, in Britain or via Skype. Why are they refusing this essential step to their investigation? What are they afraid of?

In 1998 Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet was arrested in London following an extradition request from Spain. His responsibility for the murder and disappearance of at least 3,000 people, and the torture of 30,000 people, including the rape and sexual abuse of more than 3,000 women often with the use of dogs, was never in doubt. Despite a lengthy legal action and a daily picket outside parliament called by Chilean refugees, including women who had been tortured under Pinochet, the British government reneged on its obligation to Spain's criminal justice system and Pinochet was allowed to return to Chile. Assange has not even been charged; yet the determination to have him extradited is much greater than ever it was with Pinochet. (Baltasar Garzón, whose request for extradition of Pinochet was denied, is representing Assange.) And there is a history of Sweden (and Britain) rendering asylum seekers at risk of torture at the behest of the US.


Related:
Ecuador president says UK has no right to lecture over Assange… after its failure to extradite Pinochet a decade ago
Britain says it is determined to fulfill a legal obligation to send Assange to Sweden.

But Correa said London had made its own rules in the past - specifically, by not extraditing Pinochet, who was charged with multiple human rights violations.

'Pinochet was not extradited for humanitarian reasons, when there were dozens of Europeans and thousands of Latin Americans who were murdered, and tens of thousands of people were tortured during the Pinochet dictatorship,' he told reporters in the country's capital Quito. Pinochet was arrested by British police at a hospital in London in 1998 after Spain demanded his extradition for alleged torture and murder, including of Spanish citizens, during his 1973-1990 rule.

The British government decided in 2000 that the frail Pinochet was unfit to stand trial and free to fly home. He died six years later in Santiago, Chile, aged 91.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2192566/Ecuador-president-says-UK-right-lecture-Julian-Assange.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

PB

9 replies, 1331 views

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Arrow 9 replies Author Time Post
Reply Guardian: We are Women Against Rape but we do not want Julian Assange extradited (Original post)
Poll_Blind Aug 2012 OP
mike_c Aug 2012 #1
redqueen Aug 2012 #3
Uncle Joe Aug 2012 #2
HiPointDem Aug 2012 #4
Hydra Aug 2012 #5
Matariki Aug 2012 #6
struggle4progress Aug 2012 #7
Cleita Aug 2012 #8
struggle4progress Aug 2012 #9

Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 01:54 PM

1. I wish I could recommend this article 10,000 times....

All the hand wringing about Assange and rape is transparently contrived to achieve purposes so evil that the governments involved will not state them honestly. These brave women get it.

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Response to mike_c (Reply #1)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 02:37 PM

3. +1

And K&R

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 01:57 PM

2. Kicked and recommended.

Thanks for the thread, Poll_Blind.

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 02:49 PM

4. K&R. so much for those who are sooooooo concerned, who 'stand with the victims,' blah blah

 

you have to be willfully blind to think this has anything to do with rape.

also to believe there's much of a rape case in the first place.

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 03:15 PM

5. It IS rather sick that rape is only treated as important when it has a political agenda attached

"Civilized World"? I always suspected we have a LONG way to go...but it's still shocking to see.

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 03:20 PM

6. Great article but I wish the headline used the word "and" instead of "but"

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 07:42 PM

7. Katrin Axelsson was outraged back in December 2010 when Assange was denied bail:


... Assange, who it seems has no criminal convictions, was refused bail in England despite sureties of more than £120,000. Yet bail following rape allegations is routine ...
Katrin Axelsson
Women Against Rape
Rape claims, WikiLeaks and internet freedom
guardian.co.uk, Wednesday 8 December 2010 16.02 EST
http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2010/dec/08/wikileaks-rape-allegations-freedom-of-speech


Bail was subsequently granted, of course, and Assange later skipped out, leaving his guarantors to forfeit their cash. So, looking back, it seems that the Swedish prosecutors, who asked the UK courts to deny bail, perhaps had a much better handle on Assange's character than Katrin Axelsson

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 08:05 PM

8. K&R

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Response to Poll_Blind (Original post)

Thu Aug 23, 2012, 09:23 PM

9. The Assange affair is not just about WikiLeaks, stupid (The Irish Times | Friday, August 24, 2012)

The Irish Times - Friday, August 24, 2012
SUSAN McKAY

... Assange has not sought political asylum because of WikiLeaks. He is on the run from allegations of rape. These alleged crimes are defined as both serious and non-political. Political asylum is a hard-won human right – Assange has abused it. In doing so he has endorsed a real witch hunt – against the women who allege he sexually coerced them ..

The fact the US has not sought to extradite Assange from the UK, which has the sort of right-wing government that would probably be all too ready to comply with such a request, is not addressed.

Nor is the fact that those accused of sexual offences routinely skip across borders to evade legal proceedings, and that the ability to extradite them is vital. Think Liam Dominic Adams. Think Fr Brendan Smyth. Nor that the assumptions behind the conspiracy theory are based on deeply misogynist notions of why women make rape allegations. Nor that the Swedish justice system is internationally respected in relation to its handling of crimes of sexual violence.

Assange has, however, in the past, been less reticent. “Sweden is the Saudi Arabia of feminism,” he has said. “I fell into the hornet’s nest of revolutionary feminism.” One of his lawyers told a British newspaper that “the honey trap has been sprung . . . dark forces are at work . . . this is part of a greater plan” ...

http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/opinion/2012/0824/1224322862282.html

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