On The Arrest Of Julian Assange

from the this-is-what-we-cover? dept

To date, I had avoided all of the stories both about the allegations against Julian Assange in Sweden, as well as his arrest this morning. But people keep asking us to cover it. Frankly, I'm not sure what to say about it. Assange's former lawyer's writeup for Crikey, in which he presents a compelling, if extremely one-sided view of how Sweden appears to be "making it up as it goes along," is an interesting read but, again, it is extremely one-sided. Slate's more level-headed analysis of questions concerning consensual sex laws is also worth reading.

The reason I have not covered this is, while this whole thing has obviously become political, these charges do not, officially, have anything to do with Wikileaks. Perhaps the two cannot be separated but there's a lot of FUD flying from all sides on this right now and it seems rather early to comment on all of this.

However, I think the larger point is that too many are looking to connect this issue more closely to Wikileaks than it deserves to be connected. We're interested in Wikileaks from a public policy perspective and what it means for free speech, whistleblowing and journalism in a distributed world. I have no idea what happened between Assange and those two women in Sweden and it's difficult to see how adding any commentary on the matter at this stage really adds anything to the discussion.

Filed Under: arrest, julian assange, sweden, uk, wikileaks

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  1. icon
    harbingerofdoom (profile), 8 Dec 2010 @ 8:24am

    Re: Re: Re:

    first, we are talking about some unknowns that are taking place in a foreign country with different laws and there is something very odd about the charges. he was initially charged with something called 'sex by surprise' which is not rape apparently and it has something to do with not wearing a condom. i have no idea what the laws are over there but that seems like a rather odd thing to charge someone with.

    second, if we are going to open this can of worms, lets keep it real. yes women have used charges of sexual misconduct in order to exact revenge upon men when scorned and have done so for years. it happens quite frequently in fact and usually the woman is prosecuted for it when the facts actually come out...which they usually do. to suggest that its such a rare thing to happen is very disingenuous.

    changing any laws to make it more difficult for people to report ANY sort of assault is not the way to handle it and does unfairly stigmatize those who are real victims of such crimes. making sure that the resulting investigation and any following trial are not mishandled by prosecutors and defense attorneys is the way to handle such an issue.

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