Assange ordered back to Sweden

Julian AssangeA British judge ruled today that Julian Assange should be extradited to Sweden to face sexual assault allegations. The Wikileaks founder’s lawyers said they would appeal the ruling.

Judge Howard Riddle dismissed Assange’s arguments, which sound a lot like media hype, including that Assange would then be extradited to the U.S. where he might be executed. His lawyers also claimed the charges would not amount to rape in other European countries. I’m glad to have a legal ruling saying that’s not the case.

We’ve said it over and over again – you can recognize the politics behind the sexual assault charges against Assange, while also recognizing it’s a good thing that sexual assault charges are being taken seriously. Assange has turned this whole situation into a media circus to try to keep himself out of a Swedish jail. He certainly doesn’t seem to care about what all this negative attention means to the two women who have been so regularly insulted in the press and courts of multiple countries.

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Jos Truitt is Executive Director of Development at Feministing. She joined the team in July 2009, became an Editor in August 2011, and Executive Director in September 2013. She writes about a range of topics including transgender issues, abortion access, and media representation. Jos first got involved with organizing when she led a walk out against the Iraq war at her high school, the Boston Arts Academy. She was introduced to the reproductive justice movement while at Hampshire College, where she organized the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program’s annual reproductive justice conference. She has worked on the National Abortion Federation’s hotline, was a Field Organizer at Choice USA, and has volunteered as a Pro-Choice Clinic Escort. Jos has written for publications including The Guardian, Bilerico, RH Reality Check, Metro Weekly, and the Columbia Journalism Review. She has spoken and trained at numerous national conferences and college campuses about trans issues, reproductive justice, blogging, feminism, and grassroots organizing. Jos completed her MFA in Printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute in Spring 2013. In her "spare time" she likes to bake and work on projects about mermaids.

Jos Truitt is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Development.

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  • mohammed

    It was the women who sought to publicly discredit Assange after discovering he had (consensual) sexual relations with both. We would all agree that it’s quite strange to hold a party for a man and allow him to bunk at your apartment AFTER the alleged incident occurred (which is considered illegal based on a draconian law that requires sex with a condom).

    Julian has done just about everything he could do to cooperate with the authorities, and it was only after he left Sweden that the arrest warrant via Interpol was issued (how many so-called rapists who have consensual sex without a condom are pursued by the European investigative task force? Not many).

    This is a highly politically-charged smear campaign from two women who have felt betrayed and an over-ambitious prosecutor seeking to make a name for herself.

    • Candice

      There is no law in Sweden about not being allowed to have sex without a condom, nor is there a law about “surprise sex”. The women who pressed charges against him alleged that he initiated sex while one of them was asleep, and that he held down one of them when she said no, in addition to one of them requesting a condom and him saying he was wearing one when he wasn’t.

      Please don’t keep blatantly lying about the above when those lies have been discredited time and time again.

      Also, the women who pressed charges were left wing activists. Why would left-wing activists be politically against Wikileaks? It’s the media that has turned it into a smear campaign, not the accusers. We can definitely all agree that a regular man who had been accused of these things would not been as aggressively pursued by the media (though they should!), but that isn’t the women’s fault. Just because Assange’s political opponents have tried to use the accusations to discredit his work (as though anti-censorship politics has anything to do with his personal character and possible crimes) doesn’t mean he didn’t commit them.

      All that’s happening now is that he will be prosecuted. Good. That is what should happen. All people accused of these crimes should be prosecuted. He wasn’t sent directly to jail.

  • naath

    I think it’s quite surprising that he’s claiming the Swedes will send him to the US but we (the UK) won’t. Um, the UK’s extradition arrangements with the US basically amount to “roll over and do what we are told” the Swedish ones… not so much.

    • Jon

      I think it’s quite surprising that he’s claiming the Swedes will send him to the US but we (the UK) won’t.

      Wait, do you actually know the extradition treaties between US and England versus US and Sweden? Or are you just pulling that out of your opinion hole?

      Assange should get the same day in court as every other American/English/Swede, but I’d rather not see a bait-and-switch where he’s brought up on charges in Sweden, dragged back home, immediately acquitted, and then immediately re-arrested on some US bullshit charge.

      Maybe he’s a criminal sexy-by-surpriser who also runs a red hot news leaking website. Maybe he’s a victim of shinanigans. But I’m willing to give him the legal advantage, because Julian Assange wasn’t the one running a network of secret torture holding pens for political dissidents and alleged terrorists these last ten years.

      If you’re pissed at the situation, blame good old America. We’re the ones that blew the trust of the international community and made Julian’s protestations seem so incredibly plausible.

  • ecape2

    The U.S. has repeatedly, undeniably been as asshole to foreigners. Assange has repeatedly, undeniably been an asshole to women. Shouldn’t they both be punished? I don’t really see it as an either/or scenario.

  • Robin James

    “He certainly doesn’t seem to care about what all this negative attention means to the two women who have been so regularly insulted in the press and courts of multiple countries.”

    No shit. He’s facing jail, they’re facing… insults? His heart bleeds for them, I’m sure. If he turns out to be guilty, than fuck him, hope he rots in jail. If he’s not guilty, though, how can you blame him for doing everything he can to prove his innocence?