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Assange backer defends Swedish women’s rights

Assange backer defends Swedish women’s rights

Published: 07 Feb 2013 12:51 GMT+01:00
Updated: 07 Feb 2013 12:51 GMT+01:00

WikiLeaks fan Jemima Khan, who helped post bail for its founder Julian Assange after he handed himself in to UK police over sex crime allegations by two Swedish women, has criticized his prolonged extradition fight.

Khan, the associate editor the New Statesman magazine, is known to be among the WikiLeaks fans who contributed to his bail.

Assange's fight against extradition to Sweden, which he has said would see him deported to the US, has seemingly become all the more worrying in Khan’s eyes.

“The women in question have human rights, too, and need resolution,” she wrote in the latest issue of the New Statesman.

“Assange’s noble cause and his wish to avoid a US court does not trump their right to be heard in a Swedish court.”

Although Khan did not leave out criticism of the rape charge having been retracted by one Swedish prosecutor only to be reissued by another, she said she was now convinced the matter should be handled by the Swedish justice system.

She wrote that she had not been able to contact Assange, who has barricaded himself in the London embassy of Ecuador, to talk about some aspects of his stated concerns.

“I had wanted to ask him about the opinion of objective legal experts who – contrary to the claims made by WikiLeaks – insist that he is no more vulnerable to extradition to the US from Sweden than he is from the UK,” she wrote.

“The WikiLeaks server was once hosted in Sweden to take advantage of the country’s liberal protections for journalists (in contrast to Ecuador, which ranks 119th in the World Press Freedom Index).”

Khan said she was not alone in reacting to the timing of the rape and sexual abuse charges. Some observers at the time branded it an obvious “honey trap,” set up to frame the controversial whistleblower.

She praised Wikileaks' ideals of transparency and openness, but said she would like the organization's founder to address the allegations against him.

“I don’t regret putting up bail money for Assange but I did it so that he would be released while awaiting trial, not so that he could avoid answering to the allegations,” she wrote.

“I have seen flashes of Assange’s charm, brilliance and insightfulness. But I have also seen how instantaneous rock-star status has the power to make even the most clear-headed idealist feel that they are above the law and exempt from criticism.”

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Your comments about this article

14:40 February 7, 2013 by unionisten
the followers start to see the truth soon he will be alone
20:06 February 7, 2013 by johan rebel
Let him rot in that embassy for another decade or so, it is sure to be much worse than a Swedish jail.
21:30 February 7, 2013 by riose
@johan rebel

Finish the sentence: ...or being judged as a terrorist in the US. Then face life in a cell or death.
23:48 February 7, 2013 by diegoveggie
these ladies got a massange
00:05 February 8, 2013 by Hunner1210
The Julian Assange case is nothing less than EMBARRASSING for Sweden and all of it's citizens. Sweden is merely being used as a puppet for American interests, interests that have ruled and controlled many parts of the globe ever since WW2! It would be MORE than a shame if Sweden ever obliges with the no-questions-asked extradition agreement between it and the United States, and sends Julian Assange to his death because Americans (by the way, I'm American) hate the truth- that their beloved, overrated country is as intolerant of dissent or opposition as the countries they despise and condemn such as Iran and Russia! All Assange has done is expose THE TRUTH, the harsh truth that most people will sweep under the rug as to not tarnish their image of the "land of the free, home of the brave" nonsense. Everyone needs to ditch those slogans that still remain from the time when Western Europe was almost fully ruled by a dictator. Times have changed immensely. People need to wake up, turn off MTV, hop off America's d*ck, see the country for what it really is, and not let it have so much power over countries (such as Sweden) that are much further ahead in areas such as human rights, freedom of the press and democracy than it. If Sweden EVER attempts to extradite Assange, America can bet it's declining dollar that I will be there to protest until my last breath, until this cowardly action is abandoned!
00:57 February 8, 2013 by peterrkj
@hunner1210 well put, its bout time people started opening there eye's a little bit.
09:23 February 8, 2013 by unionisten
Well i dont feel embarrest at all im very happy that we dont fold for Mr Assanges cheap tricks, if he is innocent then he should want to clear his name, but it seems that hi thinks he is above the law, i think his defenders should be embarrased.

Sweden will not send Assange to USA, its just a Hoax from Assange, he wanted to live here its funny that Sweden whent from good to bad just becasue that prick couldnt have his way. But as it sais in the article the country he has seeked assylum is really the freedom of speach or how was it now again?
09:38 February 8, 2013 by muscle
hmm this issue is still going on :s Its boring now!


TheLocal, please fix the commenting issue!
14:34 February 8, 2013 by prince T
@huner. . Nothing is embarrasing for sweden. I am actually proud dat sweden is not shifting ground on d matter. Thank God Khan has seen d light after wasting thousands of her money on the sc....... B..g.

Like she said assange want devoted loyalty like ron hubbad of scientology. The laws of d land does not apply to him.
14:53 February 8, 2013 by what would thomas paine do
#5, Who would want to be associated with such a place? Perhaps you should renounce your citizenship?
23:33 February 8, 2013 by Hunner1210
@what_would_thomas_paine_do Workin on it, I live in Danmark now fortunately. Though I still have a few more years before I can apply for citizenship and replace Danish citizenship with my American one
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