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Assange denied Swedish residence permit

TT/The Local · 18 Oct 2010, 17:04

Published: 18 Oct 2010 17:04 GMT+02:00

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Assange, an Australian citizen, had applied for a residence and work permit in Sweden in August 18th in order to gain status as the legally responsible publisher of the whistle-blower website,

The whistle-blower website has a number of servers based in Sweden and the move would have afforded better protection for WikiLeaks' sources under Sweden's press freedom laws.

However, in order to secure legal responsibility as publisher in Sweden, a person must have a residence permit.

"We have made the decision to reject his application. He has received the notice today by email," Gunilla Wikström, who makes decisions on work permits for the board in Norrköping, told Aftonbladet on Monday.

The board refused to elaborate further on the details of Assange's case and the investigation is still ongoing.

"There is not much more to say than that we rejected his application," Wikström told Aftonbladet.

Asked if she could comment on the grounds for refusal, Wikström replied, "No, secrecy prevails in reference to the grounds for such a decision."

Wikström said Assange was informed of the decision both by email and regular mail. She added that she could not confirm whether he was still in the country.

Assange visited Sweden over the summer to lecture on WikiLeaks' recent publication of thousands of secret documents from the war in Afghanistan. He then also applied for a Swedish residence permit.

However, the lectures were abruptly overshadowed by media reports of rape and molestation accusations against Assange at the end of August, two days after he had applied for a residence permit. The notification sparked intense media coverage about Assange around the world.

The allegations from two women led duty prosecutor Eva Finné to issue an arrest warrant for Assange. However, head prosecutor Marianne Ny abruptly withdrew the warrant the next day and cancelled the rape charges a few days later, only to see her decision appealed and the rape case reopened by yet another prosecutor.

Assange has admitted that he had met both women in question, who according to their lawyer are both Swedish and aged between 25 and 35.

However, when asked whether he had had sex with either of the women, he refused to answer, saying it was "a private matter."

Assange is still under investigation in Sweden, but the probe did not bar him from leaving the country.

Story continues below…

When contacted by AFP Monday, an Icelandic spokesman for Wikileaks, Kristinn Hrafnsson, refused to reveal Assange's whereabouts.

His last public appearance was in London, when he spoke publicly at City University on September 30.

Wikileaks is imminently expected to release some 400,000 secret military reports on the US-led Iraq war.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

17:23 October 18, 2010 by krow
What next? Seek asylum in same Sweden???????
17:40 October 18, 2010 by Rishonim
Politics as usual. Here we have someone with brains and means to create employment in sweden is denied a working visa. Ha he been an refugee with no desire to integrte into swedes culture of course they would have welcomed him with open arse
18:07 October 18, 2010 by Nemesis
This has the potential to turn into pure entertainment.

A smart computer guy can't stay in Sweden.
18:31 October 18, 2010 by truthworthy
This is shame. Sweden can afford to spend so much on the protection of fools like Vilks in the name of freedom of speech but cannot afford to offer assistance to this guy, who clearly can be the role model for freedom of speech. Just because the united States does not like his work, Sweden also turns him down.
18:35 October 18, 2010 by locaxy
This is ridiculous!
19:42 October 18, 2010 by Nomark
Its hardly a surprise, nor is it ridiculous, that someone who is under suspicion of rape is denied a residence permit.
19:53 October 18, 2010 by Makaveli
@Rishonim: What kind of jobs are u exactly referring to in this case? Are u talking about convincing Swedes to leak top Swedish government military secrets, just like he did in the US? I do not see this guy doing anything good in this country other than stirring up some more trouble, and endangering more lives, like he did in the US. Somethings are just not meant for the public to know..eg. top military secrets.

@Trustworthy: So easy for u to let your mouth run with your brains. You hardly seem to have analysed the circumstances of this case, and now u rush to make an analogy with the case of Vilks. Perhaps i should remind you that Vilks is a native Swede and this guy is Australian, and the Swedish government owes him nothing in the form of protection. He is not being persecuted or anything of that sort. He choose to blow whistles and now its time to face the music. Denying him a residence permit is very rational, considering that he is an infamous person surrounded by a lot of controversy and besides am sure the immigrations authorities have good reason to turn down his application. Since u are apparently such a big fan of his, u can perhaps call him and ask for details as to why his application for residence permit was turned down.
19:59 October 18, 2010 by thebittertruth
Give him the permit, and the next leak he wikis shall be most certainly some swedish leaks....case of skeletons in the cupboard or pandora's box?? You figure it out.
20:06 October 18, 2010 by asian369
Assange should have changed his name to "David Yitzchak"...
21:04 October 18, 2010 by Roy E
Assange's recklessness and arrogance make him a liablity to any society. He thinks he knows better than everyone else. That attitude harms people and in some cases, gets them killed.

Sweden is quite right to turn him away.
21:59 October 18, 2010 by Rishonim
Asian963. They don't take names like David Yitzchak too kind here in Sweden. If you think I am lying go ask the mayor of Malmö. Any name associated with blowing up innocent civilians are the way to go.
22:13 October 18, 2010 by memyselfandi
Most of you are idiots. This guys days are numbered.
22:52 October 18, 2010 by Tusker
However, when asked whether he had had sex with either of the women, he refused to answer, saying it was "a private matter."

Guess I will have to look for the answer on Wikileaks
23:08 October 18, 2010 by Syftfel
Good for Sweden! Now deport him to the United States!
23:09 October 18, 2010 by demils
WORMS!, aghhh, I hope people who own businesses dont have too many problems. No way they say; more money more problems, governments are better off wealthy, especially Sweden.
23:52 October 18, 2010 by IranianBoy
He is the only one who has had balls and brain and technical knowledge and diligence of doing something against the war machine. becuz of him, many people now know how cruel war is. and how innocent people can get killed in a war. I hope his being rejected from Swedish residency has been based on deficiencies in his application rather than a political decision, other than that, it would be setback for Sweden and Swedish people in protecting people's right to freedom of speech.

It is also nice to see how media is treating someone so bad, just because US senators or US military hates him. you have done dirty things? maybe it's time for you to get caught!

all these whinings about US spies' life being endangered becuz of his publications are just a cover for turning public opinion against him. he and his team review all the the documents before publishing to not endanger anyone's life. last time, he even asked pentagon to help him filter any content that may endanger someone's life or US military's operation abroad. but they didn't accept his offer, instead they went on to haunt him and badmouth him and say his work is against americans' "interests"

Sweden! you are a free land! stay that way!
00:06 October 19, 2010 by Tanskalainen
@IranianBoy either you are a liar or ignorant or both. First of all the Pentagon did not reject his "offer" when they tried to follow up on that he refused to respond. Second of all Moslems, yes MOSLEMS in Afganistan were killed because of information this stupid bastard released. But I don't suppose you care about them because they were Sunni.
02:48 October 19, 2010 by GLO
Good... Now get his a## under arrest for murder....
03:55 October 19, 2010 by demils
@iran boy ,the truth is usa gov. never gives out information, i repeat never lets people talk about them if what they are saying will hurt usa. usa knows everything and every person on earth. propaganda. usa controls so much. i agree afganistan is a pointless war, i disagree with usa on almost everything, i dont like them, but if someone is protesting usa, chances are it has something to do with usa...thats probabally sayinggg wayyyyy to much. but yeaaaa ;)
04:23 October 19, 2010 by Carnitas
Sweden let's in a few thousand future rapists every year but this guy can't get in? Maybe he should change his name to Mustafa?
06:17 October 19, 2010 by Baldric
@Nomark: Innocent until proven guilty, no?
07:27 October 19, 2010 by Russ Cobleigh
then guy is an arse! WHO CARES?
08:16 October 19, 2010 by star10
The pressure on this Assange is a state-sponsored attack on citezen's right to get information. Those in the military dictate what we citizens can know what we can't. They are the ones to be judged on their acts with thier guns. And they are the ones who decide what people can know and not. And they hided too many things to protect their crime. Assange is trying to break that. He needs citizens support.
09:29 October 19, 2010 by Jackdempsey187
I thought it was really hard to get rejected by the Swedish migration board. Did he forget to provide a signature?
10:21 October 19, 2010 by cowboykodp

He should change his name to Jose Mendosa, and therefore let in another Mexican murderer and drug dealer. (I mean no offense to Mexicans, just illustrating for idiots)

Now to the point: This guy is nothing but a problem. It is correct not to give him a permit.

Yet another example of how one MUST be responsible, even if we charish our Freedom of Speech.

"We should not be so open minded that our brain falls out"
11:16 October 19, 2010 by KungsholmenGuy
I like Assange for his courage to be a whistleblower, but we must accept the following basic facts:

He was almost certainly intimate with both of the women who are bringing forth the rape accusations, because if one or the other had NOT been intimate with Assange, Assange would be screaming 'this is a CIA setup and smear campaign' from the rooftops, rather than saying that it is 'a private matter'.

The real question then is: does the long arm of the CIA or some other US organization include payment to one or more Swedish women to frame and discredit Assange?

In this conspiracy theory fueled age, it is easy to imagine an emphatic yes! to the above question, but it also remains possible that Assange is a champion in one facet of his life, and less than that in another, like Tiger Woods.

In fairness to the women, we should remember that it requires a lot of courage for women to bring forward rape accusations, and none of these women appear to be seeking tabloid millions in exchange for their stories (at least not yet, and maybe paid spies would not do this either...).

Ultimately it would be very interesting to know if there are suspicious angles in his personal encounters with these two women. We all have a rather clear idea of what rape implies. Unfortunately Assange's and their need and right for privacy is barring us from the most important information, which is: whether it was rape or not. And if it was rape or sexual assault, then he should clearly be barred from residency in Sweden.
11:35 October 19, 2010 by heu
This time I will have to side with IranianBoy. This was obviously a shameful political decision...

@Tanskalainen: Do you have any reliable reference about anyone being killed because of the leaked documents? CNN reports otherwise, if you care to read:

12:45 October 19, 2010 by vita.vita
Why are the commenters on TheLocal Germany so much more smarter then the commenters at TheLocal Sweden?..Hmm.
13:01 October 19, 2010 by isak_s
@KungsholmenGuy: "Assange would be screaming 'this is a CIA setup and smear campaign' from the rooftops, rather than saying that it is 'a private matter'."

He did.
13:21 October 19, 2010 by xguild
Its a strange irony that Assange wants to keep his personal life a secret to prevent possible prosecution and emberassment but has no issue releasing personal emails of other people who face the same thing when their emails are leaked.

Why are his secrets sacred and others not?
13:22 October 19, 2010 by Taha
Now this is just a co-incidence I believe that whoever raises a voice against the NWO or powers behind it, is either a raper or a child abuser!!

13:27 October 19, 2010 by Bork
What Trowbridge H. Ford is referring to:


I have to agree with Cryptome/John Young's criticism of Wikileaks. I also have to agree that we have no way of knowing if Assange is innocent or being setup (by random women or women paid off). I wonder if this may be the explanation for the denial of his residency permit. I really hope it wasn't due to US pressure or Sweden worrying about what the US government thinks. Given Sweden's somewhat secretive ties with the US in the past and the fact it relies heavily on the sale of weapons for economic strength, I wouldn't be surprised.
16:01 October 19, 2010 by Alf Garnett
Racists, they've refused him because he's white!!
16:20 October 19, 2010 by Åskar
Does he have any ties to Sweden, family or otherwise? No

Does he have a job in Sweden? No

Does he need protection from persecution? No
16:45 October 19, 2010 by SilentLogic
Huh, how powerful are war mafia in world. Impose their decision in every nook of world. I am sad even Sweden is not an exception anymore
17:35 October 19, 2010 by KungsholmenGuy
@ Isak_s

Assange may have said or suggested that this was a US smear campaign in response to his whistle blowing work (which I will admit is very believable), but if Assange truly believes that these two women were US-paid operatives who are framing him with false accusations, then he should have little sympathy for the supposed private life of these women, and he should therefore feel free to reveal as many details as necessary to clarify that these encounters were between consenting adults, and were not in any way sexual assault or rape.

His decision to not supply detail may therefore be because 1) he is unsure if these women are US paid operatives, 2) his behaviour falls into a grey area between appropriate or inappropriate, or in the worst case downright abusive behaviour, or 3) both.

Possibly we will never know.
21:02 October 20, 2010 by Mike #1986
I thought it was really hard to get rejected by the Swedish migration board. Did he forget to provide a signature?

No he forget to mention his real name is really Mohamed then he could of claimed discrimination.
04:32 October 21, 2010 by Carnitas
12:47 October 21, 2010 by neo572
Turn Black and say u where Somali pirate or Arab guy who killed several ppl's back home and ...then apply for the swedish permit....u would get it for SURE and early too//...coz this migration board has more heart for criminals but not for educated ppls' :D...which they r losing every year...pity on them..
15:51 October 22, 2010 by The Baldchemist
Who is the bloody fool that said: "its not strange that a suspicion of rape " should be enough to deny a permit? Just accuse someone and its enough?
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