I wanted to write something about Juliane Assange. Curious enough, I am afraid of doing so. I wrote the text of this post a couple of times, and then I deleted it and started from scratch. The point is, if I would write what I really think, I guess his lawyers would most likely sue me in a court of law. That is pretty a ridiculous thing for someone championing freedom of expression.
Eventually, should the lawyers of Assange being busy with other most important duties, whatever idiot in the internet, thinking that s/he is a Wikileaks warrior, would sabotage this innocent blog — for lese-majesty. So I will watch out, and try to be diplomatic. That is also a funny thing to say (to be diplomatic) talking about Assange, because he is actually abusing the diplomatic guarantees granted by the UK to Ecuador, for his own purposes.
The asylum thing, is outrageous
The institute of asylum is a damn serious thing. Its cultural basis dates back to the Hellenic world, and to the sacred duty of hospitality. Every year, people are granted asylum all around the world, to escape ferocious prosecutions in their own dictatorial home countries. And one of the states which is most active in receiving asylum seekers, and that invests a relevant part of its budget in humanitarian initiatives, is actually Sweden. Many people may enjoy freedom and a new opportunity in life thanks to the remote Scandinavian country and its politics of hospitality.
Juliane Assange, here, did his little miracle: he is — as far as I know — the first individual in centuries to apply for political asylum to seek protection FROM Sweden! Now, this is also hilarious, since the guy actually came to Sweden in order to establish there some of Wikileaks servers — enjoying the advanced and liberal laws on freedom of expression passed by the parliament in Stockholm.
Never mix pleasure and work
Then he had the — not so brilliant — idea to sleep with (at least) two Swedish girls, among his supporters. Needless to say, you never want to mix pleasure and work. He did it, and it looks like was not too much pleasure for the girls involved. I read, here and there, that this is a kind of plot to get Assange arrested and extradited to the United States.
First of all, the dear boy is now in the UK — the strongest ally of the US. Should the plan be to fly him in a cage to Washington, why should this be easier from Sweden — not even a member of NATO, and traditionally neutral — rather than from London? Doesn’t make any sense, does it?
Second, there is this big misunderstanding of Swedish laws and culture. Not sure how the things went between Assange and the two alleged victims. However, sexual crimes are taken extremely seriously in Sweden. — It is true, and maybe I should write about it soon or later, that there is a certain area in the Nordic feminism which proposes the idea that all men are rapists, by definition. And this may have influenced the legislation of the country, somehow. However, if the guy is innocent — that is, the intercourse was consensual all the way till the end, and he did not remove the condom on purpose without consent of the other party — then he has nothing to worry about. We are talking about Sweden, not — let’s say — Ecuador.
Freedom in Ecuador
Nothing against the South American country, but this is what Freedom House, one of the most prestigious and recognized international organizations, has to say about Ecuadorian judicial system:
The judiciary, broadly undermined by the corruption afflicting all government institutions, has in recent years also been subject to significant political pressures. Judicial processes remain slow, and many inmates reach the time limit for pretrial detention while their cases are still under investigation. Prisons are seriously overcrowded, and torture and ill-treatment of detainees and prisoners remain widespread.
Wanna read more: freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2011/ecuador
Oh, yes, there is also a report about Sweden:freedomhouse.org/report/freedom-world/2011/sweden
So, our champion of freedom asked asylum to Ecuador, not to face rape charges in Sweden. Interesting choice.
Now, I am overwriting, here, tonight. Let me just add this. I do not want to say that the guy deserves 50 years of prison in the US. Probably neither Bradley Manning does. It is not about me to say. However, Assange has been traveling freely around the globe without CIA trying to kidnap him. As they could have easily done. So, do not give me some lame story: the only intent of this guy is now to escape rape charges in Sweden. That’s it!