Tell Sweden to respect decision by the United Nations body on Arbitrary Detention and free Julian Assange!

By Prof Marcello Ferrada de Noli, chair, Swedish Professors and Doctors for Human Rights – SWEDHR.

There is no charge whatsoever against Julian Assange in Sweden; and he does not need to be “pardoned” by Sweden. It is Sweden that needs to abide with the decision taken by the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD)  demanding the immediate freedom of Julian Assange.

In the past, Sweden has been internationally recognized as a leading country on matters of human rights and respect of individual’s political and civil rights. At its peak, the ethical stature of the late PM Olof Palme positioned the government of Sweden in the chairmanship of a variety of international bodies for world peace and for prominent participation in the non-aligned movement.

After the assassination of Olof Palme, which took place in the middle of an ad-hominem campaign driven by the Swedish press, a successive series of government initiated by Carl Bildt, and successively Göran Person and (Justice) Tomas Bodström, have transformed the independent stances of Sweden. The nation’s exemplar non-alignment was subsequently abandoned and has instead been converted into an another geopolitical instrument of Hillary Cinton’s doctrine, which conveyed a close partnership with NATO for those aims – including the military assistance or direct participation in occupation wars. Further, the human-rights ideal that was once paramount to Sweden’s international policy was definitively buried by Hillary Clinton’s political associate Carl Bildt, during his period as ruler of Sweden’s foreign affairs.

In consensus Sweden, the governments and monopoly media ultimately replace the citizens’ political initiative. Eventually, even the Left Party of Sweden (the former euro-communists) followed the political establishment in the compact supporting of Hilary Clinto during the presidential campaign [see “Donald Trump won in the US election, how this fact would influence on the situation of Mr Assange in Sweden?, in “Trump, WikiLeaks, Assange and Sweden“].

Furthermore, a preposterous ad-hominem campaign has been waged all along against Julian Assange, and in these days extended to the person of Donald Trump, the US President-elect. Main political factors behind this campaign are described in the recent published articles “The Assange case in the context of Sweden’s feminist foreign policy for international trade gains“, and “The 6-years Assange case in the context of Sweden’s national security“.

Meanwhile Sweden still refuses to abide with the UN-ruling declaring Mr Assange’s detention arbitrary, no matter that UNWGAD newly has confirmed its previous decision, turning down an appeal presented by the UK. But the international protest is growing, and a coalition of international human-rights and jurist organizations have submitted a document to the UN on this matter.

The following factors in the Assange case has to be also understood in the context of the military occupation of Afghanistan pursued by Swedish troops, under US-command:

The US government asked in August 2010 the few EU nations participating under their military command in Afghanistan to initiate the prosecution of Julian Assange. WikiLeaks had published documents related to US military activities in Iraq and Afghanistan, and with evidence that supported accusations of war crimes. Further, WikiLeaks exposed the secret Intel cooperation agreements (illegal in Sweden) between the Swedish government and the US, which entails providing to US private information gathered on Swedish citizens. Sweden was the only country among those integrated into the US-led coalition in Afghanistan that complied with a prosecution of Assange.

However, after six years, all main deceptions in the “legal” prosecution initiated by Sweden against Mr Assange are now widely exposed. These are the facts:

  • Mr Assange has never been charged with any crime, neither in Sweden nor elsewhere.
  • No woman has ever accused Mr Assange of rape; rather, “rape” was a characterization constructed by the Swedish police (in Sweden, an institution under the Ministry of Justice). The women declared their reason for going to the police was to seek help to compel Mr Assange to undergo a HIV test.
  • Simultaneously, the Swedish media – contrary to a principled rule in Sweden – rushed to cable to the world that “The founder of WikiLeaks (with name) Julian Assange” was arrested, charged of rape in Sweden”. This claim was not accurate. Despite it being forbidden in Sweden to publish the name of a person who has not been yet convicted, the Swedish media involved in this transgression was never disciplined.
  • Chief-prosecutor Eva Finné immediately dismissed the accusations put forward in the police report after she examined the case.
  • The leading woman (of the two scheduled to visit to the police station) was a personal friend of the police officer, Irmeli Krans, who performed the interviews and interrogations. Irmeli Krans – also a member of the social democratic party the complainant belongs to – was in turn a public supporter of the lawyer-politician Claes Borgström, of the law-firm Bodström & Börgström (both at the time members of the same Social Democratic Party).
  • The case was reopened at the initiative of the said law-firm Bordström & Börgström, th é firm that also “defended” the women – as declared by the main partner, Tomas Bodström, at that time a resident of Virginia, USA.
  • The ‘woman accuser’, a former Swedish embassy employee elsewhere, had been expelled from Cuba on charges of activities on behalf of the CIA.
  • The same ‘leading woman’ was at the time political secretary of the “Brotherhood” (a small organization within the Swedish Social Democratic Party) where Justice Thomas Bodström was a principal member.
  • As Justice Minister, Bodström was a principal actor from the Swedish government in implementing CIA operations in Sweden – done in secret and against Swedish law (e.g. the secret rendition to CIA of refugees in Sweden, where Bodstrom has been indicated as the responsible official from the part of the Swedish government).
  • The initiative to open the case was taken by a selected prosecutor, Ms Marianne Ny, at the behest of the same Bodström & Borgström law-firm. Ny, Bodström and Borgström had previously shared governmental committees to study further enhancing of the radical-feminist legislation on sex crimes.

All these irregularities are a backdrop against which the recent UNWGAD ruling on Mr Assange’s arbitrary detention should be considered. Nevertheless, on the strict juridical issue of Mr Assange detention, Swedish Doctors for Human Rights (SWEDHR) had already on April 5, 2015, issued the public appeal, “According to the UN International Covenant on Civil & Political Rights, Assange’s detention should be ended”. The statement, originally published in NewsVoice and Research & Reports, argued that:

“Even a high-standard democratic country as Sweden can in the long run risks a disastrous condemnation upon its government, by the international community as a whole, for the management of the case Assange. For instance, the extreme intervals and deferral in the Swedish managing of the case have ostensibly evolved in infringement of Article 9, paragraph 3, of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights by the United Nations (ICCPR). [1] This international-law pledge, of which Sweden is a signatory, stipulates that all individuals under prosecution investigation – even if they are only “detained” and thus, even if they are not being charged with any crime – as it is the case of Mr Assange – “shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release.”

We are profoundly satisfied with the ruling of UNWGAD of February 5, 2016, on the true juridical status of the detention of Mr Assange; a verdict that also fully confirms the afore-mentioned SWEDHR’s statement of April 5, 2015.

A series of notable world organizations and personalities have now added their support, strong and sharply, to the UNWGAD ruling on the Assange case. To mention just a few: Human Rights Watch, Reporters Without Borders, etc.

Swedish authorities have replied that they won’t recognize the UNWGAD ruling on this flawed case. Nevertheless, in spite the efforts of the Swedish government and media of omitting any reference to Sweden’s human-rights violations that, in fact, the UNWGAD ruling is about, the international community will – rightly – further condemn Sweden as a government with less and less self-dignity, ready to implement the errands of superpower USA in detriment of Sweden’s own sovereignty, international prestige, and national security.

SWEDHR-logo DARKER 1&o lagerkrans 1&o

Related analyses and background information on the Swedish ‘Assange affair’

Mr. Julian Assange has never been charged of any crime.
Justice for Assange publishes revealing press conference on Marianne Ny’s case against Julian Assange. Full transcript
‘Affair Assange’ – Malicious handling of a political case
Mainstream media in US and Sweden admit now Assange risks to be extradited to the US by the Swedish government

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This updated article is based in a statement originally published in SWEDHR Research & Reports. Vol 2., N° 55, 25 October 2016.