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Why did I back Julian Assange? It's about justice and fairness

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marmar Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 09:00 PM
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Why did I back Julian Assange? It's about justice and fairness
from the Guardian UK:

Why did I back Julian Assange? It's about justice and fairness
Even my mother asked why I would stand surety for an alleged rapist. I was there because I believe this is about censorship

Jemima Khan, Sunday 12 December 2010 00.01 GMT

Why did I offer to provide surety for an alleged rapist, a man I have never met? That's the question even my mother asked me after I appeared in court for Julian Assange.

That morning I had sent a spur-of-the-moment message of support by email to Assange's lawyer, Mark Stephens, when I read of his arrest. He immediately responded and asked if I would be prepared to come to court in the next hour to act as a surety for Assange. I was nervous about the inevitable media circus, but felt that it was the right thing to do after being convinced by Stephens that it could help.

Assange has not even been charged, let alone convicted. Swedish prosecutors do not have to produce any evidence that he committed the alleged sexual offences to justify the warrant. On the basis of the allegations that I heard read out in court, the evidence seems feeble, but I concede that I don't know the full facts. Neither does Assange. Stockholm's chief prosecutor, Eva Finne, who heard the evidence against Assange in August, threw the case out of court, saying: "I don't think there is reason to suspect that he has committed rape."

That is not the reason I was there. I was there because I believe that this is about censorship and intimidation. The timing of these rehashed allegations is highly suspicious, coinciding with the recent WikiLeaks revelations and reinvigorated by a rightwing Swedish politician. There are credible rumours that this is a holding charge while an indictment is being sought in secret for his arrest and extradition to the US. An accusation of rape is the ultimate gag. Until proved otherwise, Assange has done nothing illegal, yet he is behind bars. .............(more)

The complete piece is at:

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bhikkhu Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-11-10 10:26 PM
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1. I would suggest anyone remotely interested read about the "rape" charge
I work with a couple of guys who are very anti-wikileaks, but after convincing them to read about the charge, they could hardly believe that was all there was...its a farce, but its the only thing they have at the moment.

Meanwhile, the US is desperately trying to mock-up some kind of case against what has a long record of being constitutionally protected free speech. Wikileaks can post the information they have as legally as the NY times can repost it, and as legally as we can talk about it here.

I back Assange myself because I lived through 2000-2007 or so, when the press was little but WH toadies and whatever Rove wanted he got. Remember the run up to the Iraq War? What we desperately need in this country is a free press and an educated populace. The greatest danger is not having either.

Without guys like Assange, and more importantly organizations like Wikileaks, we are completely screwed long-term, though its all too easy to never know what happened, or to be too ignorant to know the difference.
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