• Sweden edition
 

'Sweden should make promises': Amnesty

Published: 28 Sep 2012 08:11 GMT+02:00
Updated: 28 Sep 2012 08:11 GMT+02:00

Human rights group Amnesty International on Thursday urged Sweden to give WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange assurances that it will not extradite him to the US if he goes to Stockholm for questioning.

Australian activist Assange, 41, has been holed up in Ecuador's London embassy since June 19th, when he claimed asylum in a bid to avoid extradition to Sweden for questioning over allegations of rape and sexual assault.

Ecuador granted him asylum on August 16 but Britain has refused him safe passage out of the country -- leaving Assange stuck inside the embassy as the diplomatic deadlock continues.

Assange denies sexually assaulting two Swedish women and claims the allegations are a politically motivated attempt to secure his eventual extradition to the US.

The WikiLeaks website deeply embarrassed the US government by publishing huge caches of confidential documents on the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and more than 250,000 diplomatic cables from US embassies around the world.

Assange supporters claim he could receive harsh treatment if sent to the United States and possibly even face the death penalty.

On Thursday -- Assange's 100th day inside the embassy -- Amnesty said it was "time to break the impasse".

"If the Swedish authorities are able to confirm publicly that Assange will not eventually find himself on a plane to the USA if he submits himself to the authority of the Swedish courts then this will hopefully achieve two things," said Nicola Duckworth, Senior Director for Research at Amnesty.

"First, it will break the current impasse and second it will mean the women who have levelled accusations of sexual assault are not denied justice."

She added: "While Amnesty International has no evidence that Sweden plans to extradite Assange to the USA it seems evident that fears about such an outcome have played no small part in the current stand-off.

"Amnesty International believes that the forced transfer of Julian Assange to the USA in the present circumstances would expose him to a real risk of serious human rights violations."

Sweden said last month that it was up to the US to give Assange the guarantees he has sought from Stockholm.

British Foreign Secretary William Hague and his Ecuadoran counterpart Ricardo Patino discussed Assange's case in New York on Thursday, but failed to come to any agreement.

Ecuador said Thursday that Britain could grant safe passage to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange under an extradition treaty between the two countries dating back to the 19th century.

The treaty -- signed September 20, 1840 -- makes it possible to "demonstrate to the United Kingdom that it can deliver safe passage," Ecuador's foreign minister, Ricardo Patino, told South American broadcaster Telesur.

The text "foresees that no one shall be extradited if the offense in question is not political in nature," Patino added.

The minister said he had addressed the issue with his British counterpart, Foreign Secretary William Hague, when the two met earlier Thursday on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

Hague "recognized the validity of this accord, even if his interpretation differs from ours," according to Patino.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

10:33 September 28, 2012 by olga118
"Assange supporters claim he could receive harsh treatment if sent to the United States and possibly even face the death penalty. " There is no evidence of that.

Amnesty International believes that the forced transfer of Julian Assange to the USA in the present circumstances would expose him to a real risk of serious human rights violations." There is no evidence of that and since when did Amnesty International protect people from being prosecuted for commiting crimes that they commited with full knowledge and intent. Give me a break.
13:09 September 28, 2012 by woodturner1946
Lies Lies and more Lies for Assange. No one has seemed to notice that if the U.S.A. Had wanted Assange, it would have been far easier to get him from the UK. The ties are far closer to London than Stockholm. This man (?) needs to stand up for being a predator on women and take his medicine in Stockholm...BUT I guess if you are a media darling you can pretty much do as you wish. So when will he begin robbing banks and blaming everyone else???? why not? It seems to work for Rape..why not robbery??Then lets move to murder, need anyone Killed..Assange can get away with it! what a sludge he is
14:26 September 28, 2012 by Grokh
@olga118 innocent until proven guilty, Sweden has not charged him with anything, they only want him for questioning. Meanwhile all this parade goes on sweden still hasnt assured it wouldnt extradite him to USA where senators have publicly stated how much they want him arrested.

You talk about no evidence, but no one has seen any evidence of him being guilty of the crimes the swedish government is trying to QUESTION(not charge) him about.

Not to mention the persecution that wikileaks have suffered as well as the soldier usa has arrested without trial for over 2 years or so now have not been legal or answered for. At this point id rather USA be judged for oppressive politics against freedom of the press , but the media seems to focus on how assange doesnt want to go to sweden to answer a few questions -_-x
15:26 September 28, 2012 by smilingjack
olga and woodburner you should stop watching reruns of 2 and a half men and try reading. your not very bright are you?

what were you educated in the USA? the land of the dumbest, fattest most religious extreme people on the planet? oh I forgot war mongering as well.
15:50 September 28, 2012 by bcterry
"You talk about no evidence, but no one has seen any evidence of him being guilty of the crimes the swedish government is trying to QUESTION(not charge) him about."

What other cases have you seen where all the evidence is presented to the public before they go to trial, or even lay charges?

You suggesting that assange be given special privilege over others?
17:16 September 28, 2012 by olga118
@smilingjack "what were you educated in the USA? the land of the dumbest, fattest most religious extreme people on the planet? oh I forgot war mongering as well". While I stand in awe of your superior education and the eloquent manner in which you express yourself, your punctuation isn't very good.

@grokh " Meanwhile all this parade goes on sweden still hasnt assured it wouldnt extradite him to USA where senators have publicly stated how much they want him arrested". He broke the law and an extradition treaty between Sweden and the USA does exist, yet you suggest that we should give him special treatment.
06:25 September 30, 2012 by Tiny Red Ant
The must frustrating thing about Julian Assange and some of his supporters is that they don't understand how America works. "Senators" suggest a lot of things in the US, but they never amount to nothing. Anything politically in America needs at least 50% to be implemented by both the house and senate, and the president's approval. For any criminal investigation the responsibly is the federal or state prosecutors.

If it is determined that Assange has committed a crime then it is the prosecutors responsibility to convince the courts.
17:06 September 30, 2012 by MarkDnrs
THERE ARE GOOD REASONS why being extradited to Sweden (and thus why this is 100% about Wikileaks not ludicrious fake charges centered around a "broken condom") is condemning the person being extradited to that renegade country to torture and human rights violations:

1. You get imprisoned in Sweden even before being charged, so if the US brought charges at that time he has no recourse to diplomatic protection;

2. Sweden has a history of agreeing to all extradition requests to the US, including extraordinary rendition in 2001, in 2006 it was reported by Swedish

Military Intelligence that subsequent restrictions were being ignored;

3. Sweden has a clause in their extradition treaty for "Conditional Release" which the UK does not, which would not be subject to the same restrictions as extradition and the UK would not need to approve the onward extradition;

4. If, as Australia believes, the US would bring charges carefully worded to avoid conflict with the First Amendment, the UK and Sweden could declare that the charges are not political offenses and therefore not prevent him from being extradited.

5. If Sweden wanted to question Assange, they could have done so in the UK. Issuing an EAW was disproportionate, especially when no charges have been brought. Expert legal opinion supports this: http://www.scribd.com/doc/4839...

6. 3. The International Prison Chaplains Association says that Swedish prisons are the worst prisons in Europe. In 47 percent of cases, prisoners in Sweden are held incommunicado.

7. To repeat the point about Sweden's nature as a human rights violator:

There is always that Swedish legal device known as a Temporary Surrender or Conditional Release, under which Assange can be sent on from Sweden to the United States secretly and quickly.

Sweden has in the recent past allowed rendition (torture) on its soil at the request of the US. In fact, in the last 10 years Sweden has done whatever the US wants so that it can share security information. Much like Britain. The Swedish foreign minister responsible for extradition, Carl Bildt, became a U.S. Embassy informant in 1973 when he was 24 years old. He shipped his personal effects to Washington, to lead a conservative leadership program, where he met Karl Rove. They became old friends and would go to conferences together and so on.
22:09 September 30, 2012 by Tiny Red Ant
Let us just say that is baffling.

With in the Extraction Laws such as the EAW; an extradition request can be made for person to be extradited to another country while they are being prosecuted or serving time in jail. This requires a judge's permission and the extradition hearing can be postpone until after the trial or sentencing is completed.

This is the same law that requires the permission from the originating country for any extradition request. That is to say under the "Conditional Release" Sweden needs the UK's permission to extradite Assange to another country.

There is no reason to address the other obvious errors.
Today's headlines
Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input
Integration Minister Erik Ullenhag visits a school in Tensta, one of the neighbourhoods mentioned when he and his colleagues first floated the new start zone proposal. File: TT

Sweden scraps 'new start zones' after EU input

Sweden has abandoned a plan to ease taxes for small companies in blighted areas after the European Commission challenged its legality. READ () »

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'
A typical Swedish Easter egg. Photo: Jessica Gow/TT

'Easter eggs an invitation to spread germs'

A Swedish microbiologist has warned that traditional Swedish Easter eggs laden with candy are an open invitation to the spread of bacteria and viruses. "Is this really a good idea?" he asked. READ () »

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour
Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Jammed truck snarls Stockholm rush hour

PICTURES: A truck got wedged inside a tunnel in central Stockholm on Thursday, with authorities concerned the accident may have damaged cables in the tunnel's ceiling. READ () »

Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter
A Swedish Easter witch holding daffodils. File photo: TT

Kids in Victorian garb mark Swedish Easter

In India, I'd notice Easter only from the traffic jam outside the churches, but here witches, egg hunts, and feathers mark the Christian holiday. The Local's Deepti Vashisht brings you the various shades of Swedish Easter. READ () »

Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe
Chemtrails?: Shutterstock.

Swedish MP ordered chemtrail probe

A Swedish MP who launched an official government investigation into the existence of chemtrails tells The Local why he thinks Swedes deserve the truth, even if it may leave some conspiracy theorists unsatisfied. READ () »

PM pleads ignorance of Vattenfall's Nuon bid
Fredrik Reinfeldt answers the constitutional affairs committee's questions. Photo: TT

PM pleads ignorance of Vattenfall's Nuon bid

Sweden's prime minister on Thursday said Vattenfall itself, not its owners the Swedish state, had responsibility for the loss-making Nuon deal. READ () »

'Kockums submarine raid may be illegal': lawyer
Photo: TT

'Kockums submarine raid may be illegal': lawyer

A Swedish lawyer says the Swedish military may have broken the law when it raided the Malmö premises of German defence giant Thyssen Krupp. READ () »

Good weather could blight Easter traffic
Easter traffic two years ago on the E4 motorway. File: Jessica Gow/TT

Good weather could blight Easter traffic

Traffic experts have cautioned Swedes heading to the countryside for what should be a sunny Easter, warning that the most serious accidents often take place when the weather is clement. READ () »

Saab offers Gripen lease to Malaysia
Jas Gripen jets in flight. File photo: TT

Saab offers Gripen lease to Malaysia

Swedish defence giant Saab has offered to rent out fighter jets to Malaysia. READ () »

What's On in Sweden

What's On in Sweden

Check out what's happening with The Local's guide to the main attractions and events in Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmö - in association with DoToday. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Society
Swedish supermarket Ica pulls contested Easter commercial off air
Kungahuset
Society
Swedish royals set baptism date for princess
finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 16
Politics
Who's the prime minister's heir?
Alfie Atkins
Society
Are children's books the key to families integrating in Sweden?
National
'Sweden Dem protests cater to party's martyr image'
National
'Swedish research grants were fantastic, but now it's like Australia'
Society
Only in Sweden: The ten problems you'd never encounter elsewhere
National
Swedes stopped to take my picture, but didn't look me in the eyes
Business & Money
A swipe of the hand replaced cash and cards in Lund
YouTube
Features
Video: Oliver Gee finds out how to embrace The Swedish Hug
TT
National
Abba duo hints at reunion
Advertisement:
Private
National
Flash mobs hug it out across Sweden
Finest.se
Gallery
People-watching April 11-13
TT
Politics
Swedes to give six-hour workday a go
TT
Society
Aussie choir member wows Abba in Sweden
YouTube
Society
Stockholm magic a surprise YouTube hit
Fastighetsbyrån
Society
Gallery: The Local's Property of the Week
Private
Society
Swedes find 200-year-old gravestone in living room
Stockholm School of Economics
Sponsored Article
Why a bachelor's degree is no longer enough
Deepti Vashisht
Features
Deepti Vashisht dissects the magic of Sweden's personal ID number
Shutterstock
Society
Ten signs you've been in Sweden too long
Society
Jimi Fritze heard every word when doctors discussed taking his organs
Society
A Swedish farmer explains why the new bestiality ban is 'pointless'
ESL
Sponsored Article
Learning Swedish the easy way
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Blog Update: The Diplomatic Dispatch

28 October 15:16

The Green Growth Group Summit »

"Today on the 28 October in Brussels, a large group of key EU Ministers and business people, including UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Edward Davey, and Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek, will meet to discuss green growth. They all have a stake in resolving a challenge which, although it is crucial..." READ »

754
jobs available
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions
Swedish Down Town Consulting & Productions is an innovative business company which provides valuable assistance with the Swedish Authorities, Swedish language practice and general communications. Call 073-100 47 81 or visit:
www.swedishdowntown.com