Julian Assange has imprisoned himself indefinitely without trial

The latest development in the Julian Assange soap opera: Assange has been granted asylum by Ecuador to avoid answering tricky questions in Sweden about some rapes he probably perpetrated. This would be all well and good if he could magically teleport to Ecuador from their London embassy, but unfortunately for him those pesky laws of physics prevent that.

So Assange is stuck indefinitely in a poky little building in Knightsbridge. If he so much as sets foot outside, he’ll be arrested and extradited to Sweden. In his bid to avoid accountability and due process, he has chosen to imprison himself.

Obviously, I find this profoundly weird and more than a little silly, given that Sweden is probably the safest place for him if he fears extradition to the US. Even if he goes to Sweden, answers the charges, then is brought to trial, found guilty, and imprisoned there, he would still be in a better position. He would have a fixed sentence, rather than the indefinite time he will spend in the Ecuador embassy. He will be able to go outside to exercise in a Swedish prison, while he cannot while living in the embassy. And he’ll still have a bed and a TV and internet access. That’s the worst case scenario.

But he has made his choice, and continues to pretend that he will totally be extradited to the USA from Sweden, despite the USA never having asked for anything of the sort. He continues to make the whole saga about him, poisoning Wikileaks with his egomania.

And so I think the best possible course of action now is to ignore him. Let him fade into obscurity, living out his days in a tiny room somewhere in West London. He feeds on attention, let us starve him. Let him become a mild annoyance to Ecuadorian diplomats and nothing else. Let him become a nobody, a nothing. He chose this.


33 responses to “Julian Assange has imprisoned himself indefinitely without trial

  • aminriadh

    “Obviously, I find this profoundly weird and more than a little silly, given that Sweden is probably the safest place for him if he fears extradition to the US. ”

    What do you mean . . . OBVIOUSLY? Why is it obvious?

    – – –

    ” despite the USA never having asked for anything of the sort. He continues to make the whole saga about him”

    huh? As formal government they haven’t – obviously that would be shooting the gun.

    But read what the individual politicians have said. IT IS VILE.

    – – –

    “And so I think the best possible course of action now is to ignore him. Let him fade into obscurity, living out his days in a tiny room somewhere in West London. He feeds on attention, let us starve him. Let him become a mild annoyance to Ecuadorian diplomats and nothing else. Let him become a nobody, a nothing. He chose this.”

    You have irrational hate towards Assagne – and you are certainly not unbiased.

  • Olly

    Well done stavvers, this is the first sensible thing I’ve read today.

  • Chris

    I’m no Assange fan (quite the opposite – I think he’s an egotistical prick) but I find your use of the phrase “some rapes he probably perpetrated” a little disturbing.

    Do you really thing this choice of words is appropriate? If so, could you explain what part of the limited info we have leads you to believe it to be “probable”?

    • stavvers

      I find it disturbing that you can’t acknowkedge how common rape is and put blind faith in a legal system wherein only 6% of reported rapes reach conviction.

    • Steve

      Well, the fact he admits he did it is probably part of it.

    • Emma Pooka

      If we’re talking about what’s probable, let’s apply a little Occam’s razor. Two women have come forward to report that Assange raped/assaulted them, and a bunch of statements from himself and his lawyers make it clear to anybody who was listening that he doesn’t have a very clear idea – legally or morally – of the definitions of “rape” or “consent”. Either those women came forward because he did what they say he did, or because he’s the victim of an international conspiracy between the CIA and anti-Castro feminists to get him extradited to America via Sweden in a ridiculously convoluted and unreliable way that doesn’t actually have any basis in International or Swedish law. Which do *you* think is more probable?

  • Jake

    Dear stavvers,

    Given your propensity to label anyone who differs with you on this topic as a rape apologist, this comment is probably not going to see the light of day. But I’ll try anyway. Why don’t you respond to the following points:

    1. Assange has offered to go to Sweden if they provide public assurance that they won’t extradite him to the US. Sweden has declined to give any such assurance. (http://rt.com/news/assange-sweden-interview-uk-512/)
    If they are “the safest place for him if he fears extradition to the US”, why not just provide assurance and see justice done to 2 of their citizens?

    2. In the absence of such assurance, Assange has offered to be interrogated by Swedish authorities in the UK. Sweden said no to that too. (http://rt.com/news/assange-sweden-interview-uk-512/)

    3. Rape is a heinous crime against the individual but when was the last time national governments got involved in rape cases? Would this have anything to do with the fact that the UK is a lapdog of the US? Is it so completely implausible that this whole episode is not only about rape?

    • stavvers

      1. That’s a misleading Russia Today article (remember JA is chummy with them, and they’re not a reliable news source at the best of times). In fact, he asked the US.

      2. Again, RT link. Wouldn’t you be worried about a precedent set by allowing other nations to interrogate criminal cases off their own soil? Because that’s what he’s asking for and it’s not very good.

      3. If the UK is such a US lapdog, surely Sweden is a safer place. Also, please read what I have written about this matter in the past. The links are in this piece. If you had bothered reading, you would know my position and not ask silly questions.

      • Jake

        Here is Reuters saying the same thing: http://uk.reuters.com/article/2012/08/17/uk-wikileaks-assange-ecuador-idUKBRE87E16Z20120817 (see last para).

        I did read your piece. All it says is that Sweden has had a good track record in the past and therefore we must assume it won’t extradite Assange. Would that be good enough for you if it were your life at stake? He has asked Sweden for a promise that no extradition will happen and none has been forthcoming.

        The part about Swedish law not allowing extradition to a country where he might face death is plain bs. The US might not seek the death penalty but he would still face an unfair trial and long imprisonment.

    • Zmendo

      Is RT less trustworthy than your unmentioned sources because of the ‘R’ keyword in it?

    • Zarathustra

      Assange has offered to go to Sweden if they provide public assurance that they won’t extradite him to the US. Sweden has declined to give any such assurance.

      There’s a very good reason for that. At present no such request has been made, so any extradition would be purely hypothetical.

      If such a request was made, and was entirely valid and proper (from a legal perspective anyway) then such a prior assurance would essentially be a subversion of the judiciary by the politicians, and probably illegal under Swedish law.

      So, in the absence of an actual request, all the Swedish can say is, “If such a request were ever made, then it would be considered according to proper procedures and a decision made accordingly. That said, our law would prevent an extradition if there was the possibility of the death penalty.”

      For what it’s worth, if an actual extradition request were made by the US, I’d happily protest against that. But I’m not interested in protesting against him going to Sweden to answer questions about a rape allegation.

  • Ken Lalobo

    If what you say is true, then why are the USA so angry that Ecuador have granted asylum to a person that apparently has no chance of being extradited to the USA? He is in the UK and is wanted by Sweden on rape charges. What has this got to do with the USA? And why did the UK threaten to invade another country’s territory for someone who only needs to be questioned? Why have the Swedish authorities turned down requests to question him on neutral territory? Hmm… Something smells very fishy…

    Let’s put it another way. If a random guy in the street is wanted in another country, lets say Spain, on charges of rape and was hiding in the Brazillian embassy. Would:

    1. The USA be bothered
    2. THE UK threaten to storm the embassy or even spend any significant amount of time guarding the embassy with police officers
    3. Spain refuse to travel to the UK to question the man when given to opportunity to see if he has a case to answer

    Anyone can see what this is really about.

  • Ecuador is to grant political asylum to Julian Assange | Edinburgh Eye

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  • Jimm

    “But he has made his choice, and continues to pretend that he will totally be extradited to the USA from Sweden, despite the USA never having asked for anything of the sort”

    This point seems very naive. The Americans have gone after those who have gone after those who threaten their security or economic interests with great determination and often used dirty tricks – Gary Mckinnon, Kim Dotcom, many cases of extraordinary rendition, the unprecedented bank cutoff of Wikileaks. Its highly likely that the US would extradite him given the chance, and if Sweden is more likely to accept (as is claimed) then it would make sense for them to wait. The lack of request so far is meaningless.

  • Julian Assange plays pity card for Ecuador | Edinburgh Eye

    […] Stavvers: So Assange is stuck indefinitely in a poky little building in Knightsbridge. If he so much as sets foot outside, he’ll be arrested and extradited to Sweden. In his bid to avoid accountability and due process, he has chosen to imprison himself. – Julian Assange has imprisoned himself indefinitely without trial […]

  • anon

    Holy fuck i hate you neo-feminists so much. You are a blight on society and most of all on the cause of real feminism. You turned the righteous feminism of your grandmothers and your mothers from an international force of fairness and equality, into a hateful and increasingly disregarded laughing stock. If there is a greater shame that you could and should feel, i cant not think of it. You make me sick.

  • Ben F

    Normally I agree with your posts, but I have to wonder why the hostility to Assange. The guy is an annoying egomaniac, sure, but he has been accused of something. I understand that in rape culture accusations must be taken seriously, but so too should due process for both parties. And given the unusual nature of this guy’s life course and all of the State attention he receives, a bit of levity in approaching accusations toward him makes sense to me. Maybe I’m missing something, though.

    • stavvers

      The thing you’re missing is that when powerful men rape, there is generally more “levity” in the accusations as it’s framed as an attack on their stance.

    • Vaughan

      “I understand that in rape culture accusations must be taken seriously, but so too should due process for both parties”. Due process in Sweden led to an arrest warrant being issued to further an investigation into an allegation that Assange raped one woman and sexually assaulted another. There has been some due process in the UK courts right up to the Supreme Court. That due process has held that Assange should be extradited. His own actions are deliberately calculated to frustrate due process.

    • crookedribpublishing

      So, one rule for accused rapist who haven’t had an ‘unusual nature of life’ and one rule for accused rapists who have had a run of the mill life?

      Why does Assange deserve special privileges, special laws? Sweden don’t have to offer him assurances, Sweden shouldn’t have to come over here to question him. He is a man who has been accused of rape and sexual assault and as far as those accusations go, that is *all* he is.

  • Jake

    Assange is hardly a powerful man. He is neither wealthy nor a politician nor a footballer. If anything, he has pissed off a lot of powerful men.

  • John Brissenden

    “And so I think the best possible course of action now is to ignore him. Let him fade into obscurity, living out his days in a tiny room somewhere in West London. He feeds on attention, let us starve him. Let him become a mild annoyance to Ecuadorian diplomats and nothing else. Let him become a nobody, a nothing. He chose this.”

    I’m puzzled, to put it mildly, by your position. I want to see Assange face legal process and, if found guilty, the judgement of the Swedish courts. That is what he and, more importantly, his accusers, deserve. The fact that being holed up in the embassy for years on end might be physically worse than jail in Sweden is irrelevant. What matters is neither the relative discomfort he might suffer inside the embassy, nor, with all due respect, what you or I might consider “the best possible course of action”. What matters is that two people have come forward with allegations of a hideous crime, that those allegations be tested in a court under Swedish jurisdiction, and, as I say, that he face the judgement of that court if found guilty. Anything less, however inconvenient for Assange, will be to deny his victims justice.

    As someone who claims to be on the side of Assange’s alleged victims, the fact that you would so easily give up on their rights to see justice done is very difficult for me to understand.

    • stavvers

      He chose not to face justice and imprisoned himself indefinitely because of that. There’s nothing that can be done to amend this, so might as well make the best of a bad situation🙂

  • soupyone

    Very good post.

    It is a shame that Assange’s supporters behave almost like culties in this matter.

    They should look up Assange and his support for Israel Shamir.

  • Assange and human rights | Edinburgh Eye

    […] Julian Assange has imprisoned himself indefinitely without trial: But he has made his choice, and continues to pretend that he will totally be extradited to the USA from Sweden, despite the USA never having asked for anything of the sort. He continues to make the whole saga about him, poisoning Wikileaks with his egomania. […]

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