Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login
Stand up for Julian Assange before it's too late (wlcentral.org)
117 points by Garbage 2027 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 39 comments

Absolute rot. If the US wanted to extradite him then the UK is a far better place to get him from thanks to our extradition treaty. Why on earth would either country state they won't extradite him when they haven't been asked to extradite him and have no idea what the grounds for any extradition might be?

The secret trial process is presumably one that gives protection to the privacy of victims of sexual assault. Sweden has its own legal system, if you happen to go to Sweden you have to abide by it - if Mr Assange doesn't like Sweden's laws regarding sex then he shouldn't have had sex in Sweden.

If Mr Assange doesn't like Sweden's laws regarding sex then he shouldn't have had sex in Sweden

Excuse me, but that's a remarkably ignorant comment. What you are actually saying is "If Mr Assange doesn't like Sweden's laws regarding rape then he shouldn't have committed rape in Sweden". Because he wasn't accused of having sex in Sweden (that is not in any doubt), rather the questioning is in regards to an alleged rape.

You have no proof that he committed (or did not commit) rape in Sweden.

Well given you can't face claims of consentless sex without having sex I'd say it is an issue.

Anyway - the point is that Sweden takes the rights of alleged rape victims seriously. Hence why trials have privacy attached and interviewing someone remotely isn't up to scratch. If you don't like that Sweden has the balance of rights over sexual issues lying more on the woman's side than elsewhere in the world then perhaps you shouldn't have sex whilst you're in freedom.

I have no proof he committed rape in Sweden. I have an awful lot of evidence that he isn't rushing to clear his name in Sweden...

That is complete and utter nonsense. There is plenty of well published cases that are unfair to both parties.

You should open your eyes to the fact that the law system here is certainly not perfect, and that a lot of the people in people in power do not have to answer enough for there actions.

I don't follow this (semi-retarded) argument of "is accused of rape in sweden -> his fault for having sex in their country"

I am guessing he is American, they HATE Assange with a vengeance, saying he put soldiers lives at risk by publishing the truth. Right... Given that it was Memorial Day, emotions might be running higher still.

Watch your sweeping statements. There are a LOT of Americans who support Julian Assange.

I have no proof that he has a pet unicorn either. But since no one has claimed that he owns a unicorn, and he hasn't been charged with rape, I don't see a good reason to believe either claim.

I'm glad we agree then!

Do you have any details on whether Sweden or the UK are more likely to extradite to the US? Claiming that the UK has an extradition treaty isn't very meaningful, since Sweden has one, too, as do dozens of other countries for that matter. I assume it's down to the implementation details of the individual treaties.

The UK's extradition treaty with the US is felt by many to be skewed in favour of the US [1]. I doubt Sweden's is, but I can't find any information on it. If I felt like attributing malice to the US then I'd say it would be in their interest for Assange to remain in the UK where he would be easier to extradite.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Extradition_Act_2003#Controvers...

In fact, the opposite was true: before the revised extradition treaty, the evidentiary standard for extradition to the UK was lower than the standard for extradition to the US. The revised treaty more or less equalized the standards.

The treaty was controversial in part because it did lower the evidentiary standard required to extradite to the US (in other words, it did make it easier to extradite to the US). What the controversy didn't recognize was that the former treaty had been unbalanced.

You are correct about the evidentiary standard being roughly equalised‡, and the Baker review confirmed this.

A legitimate concern though is about forum and jurisdiction. The treaty currently allows the US to request extradition for acts committed in the UK that are not a crime in the UK, but there is no corresponding entitlement for the UK to make such request to the US. Many people in the UK feel this is an encroachment on UK sovereignty, and not something that the US would itself offer to another country.

(‡ shame it had to be rounded down, rather than up)

It wouldn't be unusual for people wanted by the US for various matters living in Europe to avoid the UK. Roman Polanski, for example, was able to testify over video-link when bringing a libel proceeding in the UK, on the basis that he was quite likely to be arrested and extradited if he was to appear in person.

Clearly Roman Polanski also believed Sweden less likely to extradite him than the UK, since he has actually visited the former (where they did arrest him, but then released him without charge back to France).

It's disappointing that nobody seems to support what Julian Assange was trying to do with wikileaks. This Swedish rape accusation bullshit is a distraction and a smear campaign. I was hoping for more insightful comments from HN.

I can support what Julian Assange was trying to do, while not liking Julian Assange himself particularly. Actually, I find it unfortunate that what I view as sich a good idea, is attached to such an apparently dodgy individual.

Some would argue that the smear campaign has worked on you in exactly the way it was intended.

So then the question is, how can we tell what is a smear campaign, and what isn't?

Personally, I don't care overly much, as I care more about wikileaks than about Assange. However, I realise that many people will not be able to separate the two.

This story ( http://liberalconspiracy.org/2011/03/01/assange-goes-off-dee... ) - I read the original print copy, is what convinced me Assange at least seems to be becoming unstable (perhaps understandable), as I generally trust Private Eye (which is a British political magazine).

He comes off rather poorly in Bill Keller's account of Wikileaks' dealings with the NYTimes as well.

Can I moot that argument by being on the record as finding him disagreeable long before the rape accusation?

I think wikileaks is interesting and powerful, but Julian Assange strikes me as a creep. At best he distracts from the cause he champions and at worst he really harms it. And I'm not talking about the rape accusation.

Assange is the one who inserted his own narcissism into the question. Believe it or not, some people actually do commit rape. There's no epidemic of false accusations--hell, even true accusations bear an enormous emotional cost for the victim.

What about Bradely Manning? It is Memorial Day after all, why has the world just forgotten about him?

Yeah, the world has been too busy talking about a blind lawyer from China abused by Chinese authority. Manning can wait.

Because he did not die while serving his country? That's what Memorial Day is.

His life is effectively over for serving his country and following his conscious and morals

He will live in a cell the size of a bathroom for the rest of his life and face possible torture.

While we shop at the mall he did something incredible brave.

He won't be tortured. At worst he'll face life imprisonment for violating laws against espionage, but he explicitly signed on to obey those laws when he joined the Army in the first place.

Memorial Day is a day for remembering men and women who died while serving the country in the armed forces. It has nothing to do with Bradley Manning.

edited to address comment below - I know what you're saying, and those people absolutely sacrificed...but that's what Veteran's Day is for, as I understand it.

Is it about death or rather sacrifice? What about someone that would have died from their wounds in WW2 or vietnam but from the useless Iraq or Afgan wars they lost limbs but survived?

What about someone who was told by recruiters they would not have to kill anyone and went in as a photographer but their airport was overrun and got severe mental trauma because they had to kill people at point-blank range? Do they deserve to be included?

The dead don't suffer, it's the living scarifies that do.

Let's stop war by making draft mandatory. They we can all have a real memorial day instead of BBQ.

Yes I know we have Veterans Day but it seems kinda stupid to have just one day if we supposedly value such sacrifice.

That's true, Memorial Day is about remembering those who gave their lives serving our country in the armed forces. So I suppose we'll have to wait until next year to commemorate Bradley Manning's life on Memorial Day.

Follow the link by Christine Assange (his mother) which lists many interesting points and events in chronological order.


10 minutes expected time on an extradution that is unecessary. I think they have already made up their mind. The best case scenario is that he will never be seen again, the worst? they will kill him.


This topic tends to cause people with no knowledge or experience of the English legal system to come out with some crazy stuff.

Firstly, judgements in England are typically delivered orally. The ten minutes refers to the time taken to read out the judgement in open court, not the time taken to deliberate.

Secondly, and this is a very important point that people here tend to forget, this has nothing to do with whether he is guilty or not.

Here are the facts: Sweden issued a European arrest warrant (EAW) for Assange, and want him to face allegations of rape and sexual assault. As a member of the EU, the UK is obliged to transfer him to Sweden, as per the conditions of the warrant. The EAW is very useful, and makes a lot of sense: EU citizens can move and live between EU member states freely, and the EAW is an extension of that.

It is not of relevance to the English courts whether Assange is guilty or not: that's for the Swedish courts to ascertain. It is widely accepted amongst legal circles that Assange's defence is very weak. His defence team are trying to get him off on a technicality - the treaty that governs EU arrest warrants states that requests must be made by "competent judicial authorities", and they're arguing that the Swedish prosecutor isn't a "judicial" official.

That's it. That's all they have. Not honouring the EAW would have huge implications for extradition cases across Europe. I think it's quite likely Assange will be handed over to Sweden, but not because of some vendata or conspiracy - simply because he has no case with regards to his extradition. Assange could very well be totally innocent, but that's a matter he should argue in Sweden where the alleged offence was committed, not the UK.

While I agree that killing him would probably create more problems than it solves the facts remain.

a) judgement will be given 1 hour after the court building so thats still not much time .

Here are the facts: Sweden is trying to extradite him for the purpose of questioning, but they have refused all offers to question him via telephone or video call, despite it being a completely legal method under Swedish law.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's lawyer tells CBS News that rape and sexual molestation allegations against his client in Sweden are a "stitch up," and the Swedish prosecutor's failure to provide him with documentation on the claims, or any evidence, makes it impossible to begin crafting a legal response.

Call it what you want, I call it Bullst

If charged, the following trial would be held in secret.

Well if Assange's lawyer thinks the Swedish prosecutor has no case, he must be right!

I don't really like it either, but there's a rationale for rape trials to be secret. One of the biggest reasons rape victims don't press charges is because they don't want to face the enormous public scrutiny into their personal lives that always comes with a rape trial. At least in America, the most common legal defense against rape is to attack the victim's credibility and publicly brand her a slut. It's emotional blackmail but it works, which is why most rapes go completely unreported and why Kobe Bryant, for instance, is still a free man.

If Assange was going to be framed by the authorities, it wouldn't be in Sweden of all places, and it would be for something like tax evasion, not rape. It's way easier to go after troublesome public figures on tax charges.

>Well if Assange's lawyer thinks the Swedish prosecutor has no case, he must be right! er...thats not what was said at all. however, sticking with the point:its good practise for lawyers to present their case to the other side before trial, Assanges lawyers are saying they arent being given the chance to formulate a defence due to malpractise of the prosecution.

Really? Do you really think a democratic country like the UK, Sweden, or the US would be so stupid as to kill such a lightning rod figure? We're not talking about backwater banana republics here, these are G20 countries with well-established legal systems.

From what I've read, he's not facing treatment any different from anyone else in this situation([1] and [2]).

It all appears to be by the book. This is not a railroading, as there have been much back and forth and waffling by the Swedish authorities whether there was a crime and whether to continue the investigation.

I think people see a conspiracy where there is none.

[1]http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/police/extradition-intro11/extr... [2]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C3%A4ktning#H.C3.A4ktning_.2...

There are plenty of ways to treat people like Assange, killing is out of fashion now.

Absolutely. You cannot kill such an emblematic figure like Assange without making a martyr of him. You must not kill the guy, you must kill his credibility.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact