Over the past six years, Julian Assange has been held captive due to rape allegations that were made by the Swedish government. Information has now come to light that would indicate that these crimes were actually fabrications that were intended to frame the infamous whistle-blower.
Yesterday was the first time in the entire fiasco that Assange went public with his statement of the events which surrounded the rape allegations that he was incarcerated for in 2010.
“Six years ago today, on 7 December 2010, I was handcuffed and locked into Wandsworth prison by order of a Swedish prosecutor, Marianne Ny,” Assange explains in a testimony released on Wednesday. “I had not and still have not been charged with an offense. The claimed grounds for my arrest and extradition without charge were so that Ny could question me. But it was not until six years later – three weeks ago – that I was questioned for the first time. I have decided to release my responses.”
Assange who was arrested back in 2010, was finally questioned for the first time in November. The questioning took place over a two-day time period, and during that time, his lawyer was excluded from the room, “in yet another breach of my basic rights.” according to Assange.
The statement, which was released on Wednesday, details the events that led up to his persecution, including his encounters with the American, English, Australian, and of course Swedish governments.
“You have subjected me to six years of unlawful, politicized detention without charge in prison, under house arrest and four and a half years at this embassy. You should have asked me this question six years ago. Your actions in refusing to take my statement for the last six years have been found to be unlawful by the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and by the Swedish Court of Appeal. You have been found to have subjected me to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. You have denied me effective legal representation in this process. Despite this, I feel compelled to cooperate even though you are not safeguarding my rights. I refer you to my statement where all these questions were answered.”
In what can only be described as sadly ironic, the charges only came to light after Assange used information which was leaked by Bradley Manning to expose the war crimes of the U.S government through his site, WikiLeaks.
“I… could not believe my eyes when five days later I saw a headline in a Swedish tabloid that I was suspected of a crime and arrested in my absence. I immediately made myself available to Swedish authorities to clarify any questions that might exist, even though I had no obligation to do so.”
According to Assange, as well as SMS messages between him and a woman referred to as ‘SW’, the sexual encounters that he had with her was “consensual and enjoyable” and occurred multiple times.
The accusations state that he supposedly had sex with SW while she was asleep, which is grounds for rape under Swedish law. His SMS messages, which were also released on Wednesday indicate that this did not happen. In his statement:
“Her behaviour towards me on the night in question and in the morning made it clear that she actively and enthusiastically wanted me to have sex with her. This is also shown by text messages “SW” sent to her friends during the course of the evening I was at her home and during that week, which the Swedish police collected from her phone. Although the prosecutor has fought for years to prevent me, the public and the courts from seeing them, my lawyers were permitted to see them at the police station and were able to note down a number of them, including:
On 14 August 2010 “SW” sent the following text to a friend: I want him. I want him. Followed by several more of similar content (all referring to me) in the lead-up to the events in question (13:05);
On 17 August “SW” wrote that we had long foreplay, but nothing happened (01:14); then it got better (05:15);
On 17 August, after all sex had occurred, “SW” wrote to a friend that it ”turned out all right” other than STD/pregnancy risk (10:29);
On 20 August “SW”, while at the police station, wrote that she “did not want to put any charges on Julian Assange” but that “the police were keen on getting their hands on him” (14:26); and that she was “chocked (sic shocked) when they arrested him” because she “only wanted him to take a test” (17:06);
On 21 August “SW” wrote that she “did not want to accuse” Julian Assange “for anything”, (07:27); and that it was the “police who made up the charges (sic)” (22:25);
On 23 August “AA” (the other woman whose case was dropped in August 2015) wrote to “SW” that it was important that she went public with her story so that they could form public opinion for their case (06:43);
On 23 August “SW” wrote that it was the police, not herself, who started the whole thing (16:02);
On 26 August “AA” wrote to “SW” that they ought to sell their stories for money to a newspaper (13:38);
On 28 August “AA” wrote that they had a contact on the biggest Swedish tabloid (12:53); and “SW” wrote that their lawyer negotiated with the tabloid (15:59);
“Without even bothering to take my statement, the Swedish Prosecution Authority broke its own rules and released my name to a tabloid newspaper,” explains Assange in his testimony. “Prosecutor Ny went on to produce more than 40 press releases and press conferences about me.
As a result, to this day more than half a million web pages falsely conflate my name with the word “rape”.
Sadly, Julian Assange has had to take asylum at the Ecuadorian Embassy for years now due to the allegations that were made against him. Thankfully, however, just last week, the United Nations decided to decline an appeal made by the U.K to continue to hold the founder of WikiLeaks. The UN noted that London and Stockholm would have to end the “arbitrary detention” of Assange, meaning that the founder of WikiLeaks can no longer be forced to find refuge within the embassy. The coming days and weeks will be sure to provide further insight into the situation, and until then, we will have to continue to stay informed in reference to the situation.