Thursday, August 16, 2012

The Banana Monarchy

You know it already - Sweden wanted Julian Assange extradited from the UK to charge him for sexual harassment. The UK agrees, and mr. Assange took refuge in the Ecuadorian embassy. In the background lurks the US - the charges against Assange appeared less than two weeks after Assange had published chunks of classified US diplomatic cables. The US wowed to take revenge, but since Assange is not yet imprisoned, Bradley Manning - the true hero of this story - is tortured in stead.

This afternoon Ecuador has granted Assange asylum, and moreover accused Sweden of having a politicized juridical system, which of course has caused a lot of furore in this haven of hypocrisy. Our foreign minister Carl Bildt who is known not only to bring peace to the Balkans but also to bring death and destruction to Sudan and Ethiopia through his oil business, tweeted angrily about it. Not that I take his tweet much more seriously than al Shabaab's or Dimitry Medvedev's. I bet they are all friends on Facebook.

Please note: I do not believe that Julian Assange has harassed anyone and should get away with it. I do find the allegations against him ridiculous, and I fully agree with the Ecuadorian analysis of our juridical system. Sweden is working on behalf of the US. Most countries who show this degree of dependency are called banana republics, but since are proud to sport a royal house, Sweden must be classified as a banana monarchy.

Tizian 093

According to the attorney, Assange during a brief stay in Sweden stayed in some female aquintancies' apartment, and coerced at least one woman into having sex against her wishes. A truly disgraceful behavior, true, but do not think it is illegal in Sweden, unless you are wanted by the US. There have been several cases during the last year where our highest judiciary signalizes one thing - men's violence against women is not a crime. Hovrätten is the highest juridical instance for this type of crimes in Sweden and its judgings are considered predicative.(Links below are in Swedish)

  • In February 2011 four men, four men who had been convicted at lower court for prostituting a 14 year old girl had their sentences amended - two of them were freed. The girl got no compensation whatsoever.
  • In a case from 2005 which is more similar to the allegations against Assange, a 40 year old man also got a leaner sentence in the Hovrätten than in lower courts, for sexually abusing a 13 year old girl. Specifically, the Hovrätten did not want to charge him with rape, but with sexual harassment, and lowered the compensation to the girl.
  • Earlier this year two men were found guilty of luring women from Romania to Sweden to prostitute them here, but alas the Hovrätt did not find it proper to call it trafficking. These men were sentenced with 9 months and 2 years in jail.
  • Ultimately, a patriarchal society rests on a reliable hierarchy within the family - a drunk paterfamilias attacked his woman with a Samurai sword and almost took her life. Not enough to charge him with murder, said the Hovrätt and lowered his sentence form 8 to 5 years in jail. This happened earlier this year.
  • In this context, what sentence would a crime like the one Assange is accused of get? If found guilty he would maybe have to pay a few thousand Euros in compensation - after all the victim is neither trafficked, nor under aged or anything, and he didn't use a samurai sword to get into her pants.

    The thought that any Swedish man would be searched for abroad for a crime that our judiciary finds so utterly unimportant is ridiculous. And quite frankly I would be glad if the resources spent on trying to convict Assange were spent on some other male suppressing women around him. They are not so hard to find, actually. There must be some other reason Sweden wants him extradited.

    And what reason might that be? Ask Bradley Manning, who is bearing Assange's cross. The US wants him, of course. But our media are so lame. Ecuador have publicly stated that they have asked both Sweden and the UK for guarantees that Assange is not extradited to a third part. Carl Bildt did not comment on that, and no reporter made him say if Sweden has received such a proposal, if it has denied it and why, if that is the case.

    All in all, it is a pretty nice example of the decay in morals and politics in Sweden. If Julian Assange should go to court, he should at least be allowed to do it in a country with a working judiciary.

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