Monday, June 04, 2012

John Pilger On Assange's Extradition Case And Infringements On His Human Rights

The full interview with author, documentary filmmaker and journalist John Pilger conducted by Thomas Hall, of Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter (DN).

DN: Julian Assange has ben fighting extradition to Sweden at a number of British courts. Why do you think it is important that he wins on Wednesday?

John Pilger: Because the attempt to extradite Assange is unjust and political. I have read almost every scrap of evidence in this case and it's clear, in terms of natural justice, that no crime was committed. The case would not have got this far had it not been for the intervention of Claes Borgström, a politician who saw an opportunity when the Stockholm prosecutor threw out almost all the police allegations. Borgström was then in the middle of an election campaign. When asked why the case was proceeding when both women had said that the sex had been consensual with Assange, he replied, "Ah, but they're not lawyers." If the Supreme Court in London rejects Assange's appeal, the one hope is the independence of the Swedish courts. However, as the London Independent has revealed, Sweden and the US have already begun talks on Assange's "temporary surrender" to the US -- where he faces concocted charges and the prospect of unlimited solitary confinement. And for what? For telling epic truths. Every Swede who cares about justice and the reputation of his or her society should care deeply about this.

DN: You have said that Julian Assange's human rights have been breached. In what way?

John Pilger: One of the most fundamental human rights -- that of the presumption of innocence -- has been breached over and over again in Assange's case. Convicted of no crime, he has been the object of character assassination --perfidious and inhuman -- and highly political smear, of which the evidence is voluminous. This is what Britain's most distinguished and experienced human rights lawyer, Gareth Peirce, has written: "Given the extent of the public discussion, frequently on the basis of entirely false assumptions ... it is very hard to preserve for [Assange] any presumption of innocence. He has now hanging over him not one but two Damocles swords of potential extradition to two different jurisdictions in turn for two different alleged crimes, neither of which are crimes in his own country. [and] his personal safety has become at risk in circumstances that are highly politically charged."

DN: You, as well as Julian Assange, don't seem to have confidence in the Swedish judicial system. Why not?

John Pilger: It's difficult to have confidence in a prosecutorial system that is so contradictory and flagrantly uses the media to achieve its aims. Whether or not the Supreme Court in London find for or against Assange, the fact that this case has reached the highest court in this country is itself a condemnation of the competence and motivation of those so eager to incarcerate him, having already had plenty of opportunity to to question him properly. What a waste all this is. More Professors blogg

H/T Maren.


Anonymous said...

Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned?

Some things go beyond personalities, that's true.

Himself said...


Hell hath no fury.

Time for a brief sojourn to the feathers, I must make a few zzzzzzzzzzs.

Oh that it was with company!

Himself said...

In late April, Geert Wilders arrived in New York City to tell his quixotic tale to a rapt American audience. The far-right Dutch Party of Freedom leader

I only read the first page.

Anonymous said...

comment Isomers

Geert Wilders and others, including me, are not anti-Muslim - in the sense that we dislike people who embrace Islam. And much of the language in the article is dishonest because of using this distortion to shift focus from an objection to both Shariah Law and an opposition to the fundamental superstitions that drive Islam as they do Judaism and Christianity: theism. In particular the trinity of destructive theism to which I've just referred. Aside from nationalism, in the West, these religions have been responsible for more murder and mayhem than anything else. This is simple historical fact and all the self-serving propaganda to the contrary by any of them is nonsense and nothing more.
As for Shariah - Islamic leadership from Egypt to Saudi Arabia to New York City have clearly stated that the goal of Islam is to rule the world with Shariah Law as the model for how it is to be rules. Only recently, when asked in an interview, the presidential candidate of the Muslim Brotherhood party in Egypt stated that his goal would be to recast the legal system in Egypt to the model of Shariah Law because that is what his god wants. (Were there a god, how would human beings know what he/she/it would want? - a whole new can of worms and delusions.)

What amazes me is how knee jerk liberals seem to think that these folks would show their honor and affection to them were they to gain power. In just what delusional universe are you living. Do you actually read what happens to converts to another religion in Islamic countries? Do you actually pay attention to what happens to g/l/b/t people in those same countries (this is an area where hypocrisy in Islamic cultures is truly mind bending)? Have you been reading about the trials for blasphemy in Islamic dominated countries? Do you pay attention to anything else other than your own deluded thinking?

Himself said...

Well said that man/woman.

Good morning my lovely.

Max Blumenthal, the Jewish fellow who brought us 'Christians United For Israel.'

(No bitly)

I followed him on twitter for a while but found him an Islamic apologist to the point of sycophancy. Which of course the article is a prime example, though in truth, I only read the first and last pages.