This is a superb piece in the New Statesman.
It outlines concretely many of the arguments that have been going round in my head since my brief encounter with an Assange supporter, Peter Tatchell.
I am not going to even touch upon how these political activists have a duality of rights, one for Julian Assange and a lesser set for Assange’s victims in Sweden.
That must surely be obvious? The issue of politics taking precedence over women’s rights has a long and disreputable history.
No, the question that I have been interested in and yet to receive a satisfactory answer on is, what are the implications of Assange’s asylum claim for rape victims?
That is the tricky bit, and understandably Assange supporters have conspicuously avoided commenting on this issue.
But let us look at it another way**
Hypothetically imagine, some rich and powerful man raped a woman in the US, there’s plenty of evidence, but he skipped on a plane, avoids being apprehended and travelling to another country.
Suppose then that the US tried to extradite him from, say, France, but this rich individual uses his connections and claimed asylum (fear of being persecuted by the US justice machine/CIA, etc), political asylum in a Third World country, which conveniently would not extradite him to the US.
When you can seek spurious refugee status to avoid rape allegations then you both devalue the significance of refugee status and insult women everywhere in the world.
Those are just a few of the implications, but Assange supporters don’t want to admit it.
** In case you guessed otherwise, I was thinking of what could, hypothetically, have happened in the case of Dominique Strauss-Kahn.
Update 1: There is another good article at the New Statesmen, George Galloway: Assange is only accused of “bad sexual etiquette”. What a vile man Galloway is.
Update 2: I can’t resist this Galloway GIF: