Julian Assange Runs From The Light
JULIAN Assange is leaving the Ecuadorian Embassy, London. Why? A lack of sunlight is noted. A lack of light has dogged Assange ever since he responded to the allegations of rape by going into hiding.
“I am leaving the embassy soon – but perhaps not for the reasons the Murdoch press and Sky News are saying at the moment. Being detained in various ways in this country without charge for four years and in this embassy for two years which has no outside area, therefore no sunlight … it is an environment in which any healthy person would find themselves soon enough with certain difficulties.”
What says the Murdcoch Press. The Times notes:
Julian Assange has developed a potentially life threatening heart defect and a chronic lung condition during his years confined to the Ecuadorian embassy, it was claimed yesterday. The founder of WikiLeaks is unable to get hospital treatment for his ailments because he fears he will be arrested by police if he leaves the embassy in southwest London. Mr Assange has been living at the embassy in Knightsbridge since being given diplomatic immunity by the Ecuadorian government two years ago. He is suffering from arrhythmia, which is a form of irregular heartbeat, a chronic cough and high blood pressure, according to WikiLeaks sources They also said the lack of Vitamin D, which is produced by exposure to sunshine, is damaging his health and could cause other conditions including asthma, diabetes and weak bones.
As Rupert Myers notes:
You aren’t detained, Assange, you’re on the lam. You’ve detained yourself. Your health problems are self-inflicted.
Why is he there?
No charges have been brought against Assange in Sweden but he is wanted for questioning by police over allegations of sexual molestation and rape involving two women he met during a visit to the country in 2010. But he says it’s all lies and part of a US plot to get him to America. He says:
“How can it be that such a situation in Europe arises where a person is held and their freedom of movement restricted and they are kept from their family while a foreign government, the US, builds an ever larger case against that person and their organisation? Somehow the situation has developed here for me, but also some others, where basic rights that were previously universally accepted in Europe are no longer respected….
“First of all – I have not been charged with an offence here in the UK or in Sweden at any time. Secondly, the basis under which my asylum was granted here is the ongoing US investigation into me and WikiLeaks. It is often falsely reported that women in Sweden have accused me of the serious crime of rape. That is false. This is the situation which is being seized upon, at the time of the conflict between me and the US, the Swedish government resurrected a matter that had been previously dropped.”
Here are the actual charges:
- Used his body weight to hold down Miss A in a sexual manner.
- Had unprotected sex with Miss A when she had insisted on him using a condom.
- Molested Miss A “in a way designed to violate her sexual integrity”.
- Had unprotected sex with Miss W while she was asleep.
Kate Harding on rape:
What “taking the allegations seriously” means:
- Accepting that Assange has been accused of real crimes, even if the authorities would almost certainly not have pursued him under other circumstances.
- If you are a WikiLeaks supporter, understanding that it is possible for the very same man to do things you really approve of AND things you really disapprove of.
- Being skeptical of claims that are used to discredit rape victims every day — e.g., “She wanted it”; “If she didn’t want it, then he didn’t know he didn’t have consent — it was all a big misunderstanding”; “Afterwards, she didn’t behave like I think a victim should”; “She’s just mad and trying to punish him”; “She hesitated to report it/wavered on pressing charges”; “She’s a crazy man-hater.”
- Recognizing that all of the above are, in fact, tactics used to discredit rape victims every day, and not Really Convincing Special Facts About This Particular Case.
- Encouraging a fair trial, if it comes to that, for both the accused and the accusers.
What “taking the allegations seriously” does not mean:
- Presuming that Assange is guilty/Ruling out any possibility that the allegations are false.
- Failing to understand that the pursuit of Assange was wildly out of proportion to the usual treatment of accused rapists.
- Being a sheep with no capacity or desire to think critically about the actions of powerful people who have been embarrassed by WikiLeaks.