Julian Assange: What really happened in Sweden

2010/12/19 § 24 Comments

A picture of the events that lead to Julian Assange’s arrest is emerging. We can now attempt to answer the question everyone is asking: What did really happen in Sweden during Assange’s visit in Sweden in Summer of this year? Is the CIA behind it all? What does it mean, when Michael Moore says “Sweden is a heaven for rapists”? And why do some claim that Sweden is paradise for false rape accusations?

We do know now, that two women accuse Assange of rape. The definition that the allegation is based on may be alienating, because the legal definition of rape in Sweden is not identical with what most of us would think of when we hear rape. Most of us would think that intercourse took place, that one of the involved individuals did not consent and that some kind of threat or violence took place. In the case against Assange no threat took place and the sex happened with consent.

Under Swedish law, a rape has occurred if someone has threatened another person with sex or forced someone to have sex. “Threat” does not necessarily mean violence, in fact, it may be enough if the “victim” felt under threat. It becomes instantly clear that this is a very vague definition since “feeling threatened” is a highly subjective circumstance. This subjectivity is what the case against Assange is mostly based on.

What happened in brief:

– Assange had repeatedly consenting sex with the two Swedish women, and slept at their place for several days.

– Assange has been accused of removing or ripping a the condom in use, by women A.

– Assange has been accused of having sex with women W while she was sleeping.

– After the alleged rape, women A threw a party for Assange.

– After the alleged rape, women W had breakfast with Assange, took him to the trainstation and bought him a ticket for his train.

– Women A added that Assange riped her clothes of at one occasion and they began to have sex. She claims that she did not want to let it happen, but that “it was too late to stop him [Assange]”. Apparently she did not try to stop him either.

– The Swedish prosecutor shelved the case in August 2010 because she said there simply was no case, especially not for rape. Three months later another prosecutor, from a different district than where the accusation was raised, opens the case again.

After the “incidence” the two women happened to talk with each other. Women W was worried that she had contracted a disease from the unprotected sex. Women A was shocked to learn that she was not the only women that Assange had sex with while in Sweden. One can imagine that they raged about the fact. One can imagine that they felt betrayed. One can also imagine that they felt anger, embarrassment and jealousy. One can imagine that they felt the need for revenge.

The two women conspired in order to force Assange to take a test for sexual transmittable diseases. Right here one wonders how weired that thought is, since it would be useless for Women W to know if Assange has any disease, it is obviously of more use to her to test herself. However, the women went to the police station in order to inquire what could be done to force Assange into testing. One cannot help but wonder if this was thought to cause great inconvenience for Assange rather than to help women W.

In this context it is interesting to note that women A had a blog entry visible to the world where she gives advice how to take revenge. She advices that the revenge should have something to do with sex when a lover disappoints you. The “revenge-blog” entry has been changed lately. Instead of the “7 steps to a successful revenge” [A] it now reads “forgiveness is almost always better than revenge“. Why the sudden change of heart?

There is an interesting blog in Swedish that deals with the things the women wrote on twitter and her blog that had later been erased [0]. They were probably erased because they seriously call women A’s version of the events into question.

It was women A who advised women W to go to the police. The two women went together and learned from the police officer that Assange would be forced to be tested for STDs if a rape had occurred. The two women then apparently reported Assange for abuse which caused the prosecution to open a case against Julian Assange.

A matter of definition

Now the problems with that accusation are several. One: Apparently no detectable threat has occurred other than an alleged subjectively perceived threat. Two: The two women seem to have become convinced only afterwards that foul play had occurred. Three: His word stands against each individual women’s word, no witnesses were present. Four: Women A originally only escorted women W to the police for support, suddenly though she “remembered” that Assange had “abused” her too.

A recent article in the Swedish press that seems to have decided to side with the women’s story, says: “When the woman [A] tried to stop Assange [from having sex] without explicitly saying ‘No’, he did not care about it” [1]. I had to read this sentence several times in disbelieve. Apparently here it is being claimed that Assange is careless because he did not react to something that never has been expressed. Pause for a moment and think about this gem of a logical argument…

This is pretty much the logic behind it: “Had I said ‘no’ he would not have respected it, hence what he did with me is rape”. If you think that this way of thinking does not make too much sense it may be, because it doesn’t. However, this is not an exception but rather a frequent occurrence in Swedish “rape” cases. I do not want to belittle the severity and disgusting nature of a rape, however, what has happened in Sweden lately is that the definition of the term “rape” has been broadened so much that it has almost lost all its meaning.

Recently an EU-report stated that Sweden is the number one country when it comes to reported rape. A debate article in the Swedish newspaper SvD explains: “In an international context the Swedish definition for rape is extremely broad and furthermore, it is constantly widening”[2]. In fact, the definition has been broadened so much already that Michael Moore feels compelled to note something that I can only hope he meant ironically, that Sweden is a heaven for rapists. Sweden probably has no more real rapes than any other nation. However, there are plenty of reported rapes that would not be considered rape in other countries. Additionally, there is a fair amount of wrongly reported men in Sweden.

The Swedish sensitivity for the topic and the well developed automatism to believe a women rather than a man has lead to plenty false accusations. Feminist logic dictates that one must believe a women and cannot question her report. After all, why would a women report a man wrongly? Here is a thought: Maybe for the reason that she can make his life miserable in an instance, and something will definetely “stick” even if he is cleared from the accusation?

Of cause, if it is true that Assange has initiated intercourse with women A while she was sleeping, he strictly speaking did not have her consent at that very moment. However, it would have to be determined if legally speaking her consent from the evening before and the days previous had extended to this morning. Why did women A not tell him to stop, one wonders? The same goes without saying for women W. If she did not want to continue sex when the condom ripped or was removed (she seems not to know which, maybe the condom slipped, but she apparently prefers to imply intention on the part of Assange) why did she not tell him so?

A problem for Assange comes from a recent development in Sweden, where some demand that the definition for rape is further broadened. That would entail that before every sexual intercourse consent has to be given, also in a long-term relationship [3]. Additionally, if a rape allegation is being raised the accused would have to provide evidence that he had consent. Obviously this would only be possible if one takes written consent from their sexual partners prior to every single intercourse. One can imagine vividly what that would mean for the sexual relationships of people.

For Assange this argument means that the initiation of sex with someone who is sleeping is a rape unless he has evidence that the consent given by women A has been given permanently until further notice and not on a case to case basis. Alternatively, if she had previously given her consent for occasionally being woken using sex. To me this way of thinking is completely unworldly and nonsensical.

When following the discussion in Sweden it frequently appears as though sex merely is a weapon to be used. Maybe in Sweden there is too much of the old feministic thinking from the 70s that every intercourse involving a penis automatically is a rape. For sure, any further broadening of the definition of the term “rape”, and in fact about every second intercourse is legally speaking a rape. In a healthy relationship one of course assumes permanent consent unless stated otherwise. Let us not forget: they call it making love after all.

This does naturally not mean that one can do whatever with a partner. However, both partners are responsible to set boundaries, usually using language, gestures or any other form of clear and unambiguous communication. Women A and women W apparently failed to communicate their dissent, or maybe they only forgot. Apparently, they fortunately remembered when talking to the police.

In fact, the logic applied her, as to what a rape is, resembles the classical “Post hoc ergo propter hoc” fallacy, where the result of an action is mistaken for the reason of an action. Following this twisted logic, it would mean that if a women regrets what has happened in her bedroom after she has had consenting sex with a person, she is free to attribute this feeling of discomfort to the other person, which makes that person at the least an abuser, maybe even a rapist. Legally this certainly is somewhat fishy, to say the least.

If one considers the facts available, it is of course evident that it is impossible to determine what really has happened in the bedrooms (in one case the last row of a movie theater) of these women. Quite likely it was not rape in accordance to any sane definition. Therefore, one cannot help but wonder about the motives behind the report by the women. Revenge as motive is the most likely possibility.

P.S. If the accusations are established as false, Assange would have to finance the court case for renunciation against the two women himself, while a case based on the accusation of rape is financed by the Swedish state. Blaming someone for rape is apparently easy for women in feministic Sweden, getting justice is hard for the falsely accused man.

A) http://www.ehow.com/how_2296915_get-legal-revenge.html
B) http://annaardin.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/sjustegsmodell-for-laglig-hamnd/
0) http://www.samtycke.nu/2010/09/fallet-assange-uppgifter-raderas-om-och-om-igen/
1) http://www.dn.se/nyheter/sverige/forhoren-ger-oklar-bild-1.1229552
2) http://blog.svd.se/faktakollen/2010/08/25/sd-sverige-har-drabbats-av-en-ny-valdtaktsvag/
3) http://www.samtycke.nu/

UPDATE: As DN reports, Assange remains free for now, but indeed, in the beginning of February he may be extradited to Sweden. We will see if Sweden will extradite him to the US in turn- which would be scandalous.

As a recent court ruling came out, Assange has been extradited to Sweden. However, he says he will try to appeal.

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