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Assange case triggers rape debate in Sweden

AFP/The Local · 9 Feb 2011, 10:17

Published: 09 Feb 2011 10:17 GMT+01:00

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While Assange's defence team and commentators around the world have found

fault with Sweden's legislation and suggested the alleged victims' claims might be politically motivated, the debate in Sweden has been more sympathetic to the women.

"It's clear that the previous power balance -- where a number of cultural personalities vouched for Assange's innocence and the women were considered suspect -- has been flipped around," Hanne Kjöller, an columnist with Sweden's Dagens Nyheter daily wrote Tuesday.

She insisted the preliminary investigation files leaked onto the internet last week "clarified the picture significantly," claiming the files provided "evidence to support the women's claims while Assange stands alone with his version."

Aaron Israelson, editor in chief at the Nyheter 24 (news 24) website, meanwhile pointed out the investigation files especially showed the case "clearly deals with grey zones."

"The two women who went to the police with the accusations against Assange, they didn't perceive him as threatening ... but on the other hand they were offended and felt he didn't respect their integrity," he told AFP.

The leaked files for instance detail how one of Assange's alleged victims, described in British courts as Miss W woke up to find Assange having sex with her without a condom after she had repeatedly insisted he use one.

"'She asked immediately: are you wearing anything?' and he answered 'you'," the files showed.

"She told him 'You better not have HIV,' and he answered 'Of course not'." After that, Miss W. allowed the intercourse to continue.

The Local reported back in December that details of the case had spurred freelance journalist and author Johanna Koljonen to describe a similar experience she had had on Twitter, sparking a massive debate on the "bedroom grey zones" on the microblogging site under the hashtag #prataomdet (#talkaboutit).

Koljonen has said she started discussing the issue shortly after Assange was taken into custody in Britain in December on an international arrest warrant related to the Swedish allegations.

She wrote a column in Dagens Nyheter explaining how she had been "tweeting with a friend on the Assange case and bedroom grey zones" when she was reminded of a similar experience she had had when she was younger.

"It hit me, I tweeted, that there is a structural problem in rape legislation," she wrote in a column, explaining how it was difficult to draw the boundaries of assault.

"We have to talk about it," she tweeted.

Hundreds of people pitched in with their own detailed descriptions of negative experiences in the "grey zone", and mainstream media, internet sites and blogs followed, with the debate merging into a broader public discussion on what constitutes sexual assault and rape.

Story continues below…

"It can be very difficult to talk about such things, but it is very important we learn to do so," added Israelson, one of many in Swedish media to blog on the phenomenon.

The hashtag "was valuable in its own right, regardless of the whole Assange case and whether he is innocent or not," said Rebecka Aahlund, a freelance journalist who recently authored a column describing the phenomenon as "a door-opener for talk about sex."

"But #prataomdet came as a wakeup call of sorts at a time when people were

speculating on the case and there were a bunch of strange rumours flying around about the women," who made the allegations against Assange, she told AFP.

"The most common kind of sexual assault is among people who know each other... and to open up a discussion around that is really important," she said.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:03 February 9, 2011 by johnny 2011
OOOh boy why did it ever get this way? All this sexual harassment (in my days it was called flirting) and rape allegations when you have sex w/ people, have them stay w/ you and even have meals later on. I believe in protecting people from sexual violence but this goes to far. I do not understand how any man dares to date a women in my country anymore. If she does not like that you want to end the situation she can have you arrested for rape etc. or is it only when there are politics behind it????????Go and figure!
12:15 February 9, 2011 by UScitizen
I'm beginning to understand why there are so many gay men in Sweden.
13:09 February 9, 2011 by Kevin Harris
Sweden's sexual offences laws have become increasingly wacky and completely out of line with other European countries. Until now, Swedish legislators and feminist supporters have liked to think of these laws as cutting edge equality, and waited for the rest of Europe to adopt them.

Those same legislators and supporters have just had an extremely uncomfortable two days during which Sweden's sexual offences laws have been openly ridiculed and described as "unfair" in an English court room; those comments then reported across the world. One of the defence's principal arguments is that Sweden's law and legal system is so loopy and unfair; no one should be extradited into such a madhouse. How embarrassing.

There does need to be a debate in Sweden about these laws. Is there a limit to where the law should intrude into the bedroom? Has Swedish feminism turned Swedish law into a global laughing stock? Is it right that fear of prosecution (and one another) should be part of people's "normal" sexual activity? Should the Moderate party bring the law back into line with the normality adopted by the rest of Europe?

I suspect the Moderates will let this case finish, give it a few months, and then launch a review of Sweden's sexual offences laws. They certainly seem to be crying out for an injection of common sense and normality.
13:25 February 9, 2011 by Nemesis
A rape debate in Sweden.

That should be interesting.

In Sweden rape cases are not investiged. Strangely Assange who appears to have had consensual sex is being investigated.

A real rape debate in Sweden would be like a series of gladiatorial games, with serious blood letting. That just plain will not happen or be allowed to happen.
15:49 February 9, 2011 by GLO
The law is there to protect everyone. You can not pick and choose which crime to set aside. The court will make the final decission or you could move to Iran, I think you will all pick Sweden. What a bunch of whinning puss@#$.
16:12 February 9, 2011 by krattan
Comment removed by The Local for breach of our terms.
16:59 February 9, 2011 by Puge Henis
You sleep with a woman.

You then "rape" this woman, then she raises no objections for you to continue, then fall asleep in her arms... get up, have breakfast with her, chit chat... go out with her... then have more consensual sex with her later.

No means no... but at no time did these women say no.

And still the "rape" counts.


The only thing more moronic than this is the wolf hunt... and the politicians who run Sweden (the feminists are a given).
17:00 February 9, 2011 by philster61
Almost impossible to believe the sexual revolution started in Sweden....
17:00 February 9, 2011 by mibrooks27
Put it this way, there are thousands of people and businesses who wont be coming to Sweden because the international perception is that Sweden is a lawless rogue state. o long as people like Ny are even permitted to have a position of authority, Sweden will be an international pariah.
19:55 February 9, 2011 by Grandson of Swedish Emigrants
Grey zone?

You have to be kidding. Your "justice system" doesn't deal with Justice, just feminist political correctness!

A man (different Local news story) was recently convicted of prostitution because the women he was with spoke english with an accent and so the court assumed were prositutes. Assagne has sex with two willing partners who later decide that their dignity was hurt by the experience. What a sick country.

Your article spells it out well....."The two women who went to the police with the accusations against Assange, they didn't perceive him as threatening ... but on the other hand they were offended and felt he didn't respect their integrity....."

"...The leaked files for instance detail how one of Assange's alleged victims, described in British courts as Miss W woke up to find Assange having sex with her without a condom after she had repeatedly insisted he use one.....She asked immediately: are you wearing anything?' and he answered 'you',"...."She told him 'You better not have HIV,' and he answered 'Of course not'." After that, Miss W. allowed the intercourse to continue."

So, this woman goes to be naked with a man, wakes up to find him "humping away at her," doesn't move away or demand he stop, and it is now "RAPE" because she now feels he wasn't respectful. My viking ancestors must be laughing spinning in their graves!

My sense of what is respectful is damanged by reading this. What an uncivilized, bararic legal system!
20:20 February 9, 2011 by Buccaneer
Sexual assault is a very serious crime, and there should be serious jail time for it. No woman should ever have to experience sexual assault. However, most cases of sexual assault in Sweden in my opinion is a tool of revenge or control by women. It has been used so much that it reminds me of the child who always cried wolf when there was none.

I seriously think Assange is creep for trying to do stuff with a woman who is asleep. That said, Swedish women are making it hard to take them serious when it comes to sexual assault due to the number of women who lie about rape just to purnish a guy/boyfriend who offended them one way or the other.

"The two women who went to the police with the accusations against Assange, they didn't perceive him as threatening ... but on the other hand they were offended and felt he didn't respect their integrity,"

There is a serious structural problem in sexual assault legislation in Sweden that should be looked into. There should be serious jail time for women who lie about being raped just as there should be serious jail time for anyone who rapes anyone.
20:44 February 9, 2011 by Ivan Juric
Now I know why Swedish men are turning to Thai women as wives...
21:16 February 9, 2011 by Zala Russe
Assange may (or may not) be a creep. On balance I think he probably is. That is not the point.

I'm glad to see someone on here has named one of the two so-called complainants. It doesn't take too much internet reesearch to work out who they both are. Get the names, search on eniro.se you've bagged both of them. F**king filth.

Quite sickening, that while hiding behind the cloak of judicial anonymity (not extended to Assange) they continue to manipulate the media behind the scenes for their own ends with abandon.

This case hasn't a hope in hell of succeeding. Meanwhile these two scuzzbuckets have probably set back the cause of women who HAVE been raped by a couple of decades.

'Respect?' These biatches have no concept.

Ask the cadaver of the 14-year old girl who was publicly flogged to death, condemned by local Shariah law, last week in Bangla Desh for alleged adultery.
21:22 February 9, 2011 by krrodman
The simple solution is that every man will need to obtain a written consent for sex that will need to be signed in advance by the woman. It will be in the form of a binding legal contract, and it will need to specify exactly what is expected of each party. Probably the simplest thing would be for the form to have a series of options that each party would have to agree to, and then initial to confirm their selection.

Condom: yes____ no_____

Oral Sex: yes____ no_____

Anal Sex: yes____ no_____

Small Talk after Sex: yes_____ no_____

Needless the say, the contract will need to be signed by both parties and either witnessed by 2 non-participants or legally notarized. A copy of the contract will be maintained in the Swedish Department of Copulation for no less than 5 years.
23:48 February 9, 2011 by Mib
Rape for me is defined as a person who says no to sex, but the other person continues on regardless against the wishes of the victim. It seems in Sweden, the word "Rape" has a wider scope which in my mind devalues the seriousness of that crime. For other sexual crimes, they should be classed as something else that reflects their level of seriousness.

If you read the scraps of information from the internet and other media sources it seems that Assange did not rpae these 2 women as per my definition. At worst, he was acting selfishly and being a rogue by playing the field. The first allegations were leaked against Swedish law, which reveleaed Assange as the person who was accused of these crimes. Then they were dropped. due to what seems as valid reasons. However, another prosecuter has brought these allegations to the table and it appears all legal logic has been thrown out of the window.

Unfortunately, Rape is normally one person's word against another and unless there is real evidence to prove a crime has been committed, then the "Innocent until proven Guilty" should apply. I don't see an easy answer to this, unless of course we start to get into legal contracts as someone suggested previously. Hence, the low conviction rates which make the situation even worse as women are less likely to go through the trauma of the legal system, when conviction rates are so low. Add to the fact that some callous women accuse innnocent men of rape to cover up some affair or revenge. But, even thogh that happens rarely, every time it's in the media, is another reason to be sceptible of true allegations.
00:08 February 10, 2011 by Da Goat
If the area is grey then it is beyond reasonable doubt and will be thrown out of court.

we all know the details now so a court case is now a farce (there is no evidence) ,and the whole world now is sure it is just pettiness and politics in entirety, now the whole thing is a circus.

yes there determinately needs to be an overhaul of the rules so they are not sexist toward men ! so both sides cannot abuse sexual exploitation/assault!
09:42 February 10, 2011 by Liquidmonkey
if you go by this example, the world has many many more rapists than originally thought :(

but really people, how is this even going to the courts or interpol for that matter??? why does any lawyer even take these woman seriously???

these kinds of things need people in the streets protesting as it is sooooo outlandishly stupid and wastes taxpayers money which could be spent on other things.

i'm all for stopping rapists etc BUT this is clearly not what has happened here.
12:25 February 10, 2011 by milostic
I am not exonerating Assange nor am i castigating the the claimants of rape by Mr Assange but my view on the whole issue seem to be two fold. Firstly, the whole Swedish rape law is flawed and a means women or girls use to pin someone down and get compensation from it. I have read and heard about four rape cases in 2010 in which the persons who reported being raped were wives or partners of the accused; and who due to peer influence, insecurity in their relationships, greed and grievance of whatever sort make claims of rape to the police. The end result is that the men are arrested and locked up for a couple of days or months, tried and later set free or found guilty. Those who manage to jump the hook live on with the stain of an accused rapist.

Secondly, the cases of Assange seem manupilated. One of the so called rape victims stated in the leaked documents or statement that she was sleeping after a round of sex with the accused, only to wake up later and found the accused inside her. Thats sounds so unrealistic and absurd. Hello! Miss W, you were not drunk neither intoxicated and someone 'mounted' you without waking up or reacting unto the point that he penetrated into your thing and was on the move before you woke up. I guess, such a statement to many sounds suspicious.

On the case of the torn condom, how can a man put on a torn condom without the other person not noticing. If the condon was just just pierced, that would have been reasonable but it was completely torn. From my experience, whenever men are in the process of putting on the protective coat, the women always raise their eyes to that action and and take a of glimpse of it. If at that moment she notice that the coat was completly shattered, an alarm would have been raised by her right then; either protesting or demanding him to get another.

We wait and see the end result of the trial but the court and the people should not be so judgemental or start castigating Mr Wiki Leaks before being proven guilty.
13:25 February 10, 2011 by Steve911
The fact is that if JA voluntary goes to or is extradited to Sweden, he will immediately be arrested and held in detention on arrival for perhaps over a year in some stinking jail for foreigners. The Swedes already managed to get him locked up in prison in the UK for about 10 days. The main purpose is to deny him access to the internet and the media so it will slow down the release of the Wikileak logs. The legal case the Swedes are purporting to pursue against JA is a sham. Tabloid newspapers love a good sex story, especially when its distracts people from reading the real message about the corruption and illegal activities of our governments exposed by Wikileaks.

Many UK legal experts doubt if Sweden will succeed in get JA extradited for so called questioning. So Sweden should brace itself for heavy court costs and serious international embarrassment. Even, if they get him to Sweden, what then? He will just say, 'you have already questioned me and I have answered your questions, I have nothing further to say. Charge me or let me go. There is no new evidence other than the SMS messages of the 2 women (which you don't let me see), so perhaps you should question the women about them.' The fact that Ms Ny doesn't have the guts to charge JA proves that even she knows that the case against JA is extremely weak. It is unlikely that his so called accusers will give evidence in court against JA because they would lay themselves open to a charge of perjury and in any event one of them is living in Palestine now.

14:23 February 10, 2011 by Nilspet
@ Buccaneer

I totally agree with you that there should be a SERIOUS jail term for women who bring up false rape allegations.
15:29 February 10, 2011 by sallysees
NewsID: 31934

URL: http://www.thelocal.se/31934/#comments


Comment: As a long-time expat American living in Sweden, I sometimes wonder if the Feminist agenda so prominently being exposed as so deeply influencing Government policy isn't in some way due to a decided lack of social IQ arising out of sheer isolation of Scandinavia in general? So we have this sort of "Stepford wives" syndrome of the Movie of the same name, but in reverse: "Stepford husbands" and in this country now, there a totally unreal treatment of men by Swedish women, based on a crafty political agenda, and certainly a myth screamed by the Feminist Movement of the 60's that men hated women, something reportedly extremely surprising to men, who were also greatly dismayed that so many women hated men. Anyone who has witnessed the act of intercourse between a man and a woman knows instinctively it isn't lacking in some form of aggression or even mild echos of violence which is embodied in the English word F**k. And this seems to be what's behind the complaint these two women who made accusations against Assange, that he didn't respect their integrity as women, simply because he was acting quite naturally like any man normally would, when they let him in the door. this makes some Swedish laws against rape, a type of "Stepford husband" legislation against the natural sexual instincts of the male half of the human race. Before the 60's women used to say "no" with they modesty in clothes, and by cutting off flirting with a stranger at a certain acceptable point, or at the door of her flat. But now, according to Swedish social norms today, they can even lay open-legged on the same bed with a man, and still say "no", and this, even after performing intercourse several times durijng the date with him. But my question is this: did the two women in question lack the normal common sense to know that freely giving themselves to this internationally famous man Assange wasn't going to lead to anything permanent? Or was this just remorse on their part for having livied up to the international Swedish women's reputation for being too easy? Something which many a woman has felt, especially after discovering the guy has slept with other women a few hours or days after you. And so you want to punish him because you found you weren't all that special to him. But behind all this private remorse seemingly they must doublessly felt, is the national climate of Feminist male-bashing that is so out of touch with nature, that even other Feminist groups in most of the rest of the world have been thorougnly embarrassed by deranged politics of Swedish Feminists...who seem to be completely lacking in social IQ they are completely blind to the great harm they're doing to their own husbands, fathers and brothers!!!

Error: Could not get user ID
15:30 February 10, 2011 by Steve911
As for the argument that JA is inventing anti US conspiracy stories to avoid going to Sweden, read his legal teams skeleton arguments for his court hearings this week: http://www.fsilaw.com/sitecore/content/Global/content/~/media/Files/Publications/IP_Media/Julian%20Assange%20Case%20Papers/Julian%20Assange%20Material/Outline%20of%20Arguments%20for%20Mr%20Assange.ashx

You will see most of the points deal with the abuse of process by Ms Ny. I don't know why Swedes aren't calling for her immediate resignation over this matter.
16:00 February 10, 2011 by sallysees
shouldn't Sweden being having a debate, not on rape, but on human sexuality instead?

Namely, on the well-recognized, and essential nature of the sexual aggressiveness of the male in his pursuit of coupling with a female?

Should not women have at least some social responsibility in their sexual conduct towards men, as it is also a well-known fact that women can most easily arouse almost any man she chooses to make feel that way?

Most traditional societies the world over seem to recognize the sexual power women possess over men, and while its true some have reacted by enacting such Draconian or medieval laws which demand women be fully covered so as not to entice men in public, yet even here in the West there are many social barriers and boundaries which go to great lengths to protect women from men's sexual advances.

Many of them concern the public conduct of women themselves, as they have the most to lose.

So it seems to me, its social insanity to allow women to act and dress in the most sexually provocative manner, even like what would be considered whorish, and demand the men

not follow their natural sexual instincts in wanting to have sex with them.
20:42 February 10, 2011 by bob3000

Dream on.

If he seriously thought the (i) CIA (ii) US (iii) other dark forces, were out for him - he could have been more circumspect.

If look at the facts, he got himself into this. His penis, his decision.

Wikileaks is more than him. If anything it makes more people visit the site and has done - http://stats.grok.se/en/201012/Wikileaks.

So the publishing will continue with or without him. How is that hindering wikileaks.

The conspiracy postulating is just hole ridden.
10:56 February 11, 2011 by Steve911

So what are you saying? That JA should be a man, go to Sweden and spend a year or more in a Swedish prison waiting for some nutjob lesbo prosecutor to join the real world and realise that actually he hasn't committed any crime?

If you bother to read the link I sent showing his lawyers arguments in court you will see his defence is based on solid legal principles, not trashy recycled news that you read on this site or fanciful conspiracy theories.
18:16 February 11, 2011 by bob3000

You assume I do not read any other media, just because I do not agree with you. Selectively linking to another article, does not a balanced argument make.

I restate, "...he got himself into this. His penis, his decision." Do you deny that?
21:46 February 11, 2011 by Steve911

What you agree with does not matter, a UK judge in London will decide if Sweden has a case.

If you are as widely read as you claim, it will be no surprise to learn that most legal opinion here in the UK and Sweden regards Sweden's case as complete rubbish, a national disgrace, an embarrassment. As a UK tax payer I resent having to pay for Sweden to act the fool on the international stage. They had more than their day in court, give up and go home.

You ask …..he got himself into this? So you never had sex with a woman? Did you expect her to make a false rape allegation if you slept with someone else? You think men deserve that?

Another article to keep you up to date with the latest news:

03:18 February 12, 2011 by munched
Sweden is a joke on almost every level.

The legal system is a travesty.

The police force is corrupt and racist.

The political leaders are corrupt puppets of the US.

The healthcare system is a myth and in shambles.

Their child-rearing model has high school teens murdering each other and pre-schoolers stabbing 6 year olds in the neck.

The women are nuts or sluts. 50% of swedish women are medicated or should be according to doctors. (25% for swedish men)

All this and yet they still consider themselves morally superior. Correctly refered to as the world's mother in-law.

Actually, Swedes are just naive and easily manipulated by anyone that is more "Street Smart" than themselves, which is mostly everyone.
15:10 February 12, 2011 by bob3000

You are the one claiming the width here. I merely stated;

"You assume I do not read any other media, just because I do not agree with you. Selectively linking to another article, does not a balanced argument make."

Are you privy to all, repeat all the details of the case? If not, stop and think before you continue with a stance that is obviously not based upon a full picture.

Did you read the transcript of Reinfeldt's statement? In Swedish? or are you basing you opinion on the spin, the defence team are putting on it.

You said

..."So you never had sex with a woman? Did you expect her to make a false rape allegation if you slept with someone else? You think men deserve that?"

This not the "Brotherhood of the Travelling pants", grow up.


Wow, got your knickers in a real twist, haven't you love. Seems like you need to clam down, go to your happy place and take your meds.
22:12 February 17, 2011 by dan_sparrow
i think those girls are just story tellers, if theres no signs of violence how u can confirm that her story its real...

and the condom situation its kinda funny if u wanna have sex with condoms, u can refuse to do it without it, no rubber no sex end of story

anyway i dont even think that the argument about the condoms happened that night

probably she jumped over him and did what the swedish girls were doing in spain during the 70´s, to go wild!
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