Posts Tagged ‘Swedish media’
On Torture. The Swedish-media paradox and the case against Assange
The day after the internationally publicized speech of Julian Assange from the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he remains in political asylum amid 746 days in which Sweden has deprived him of basic human-rights – Swedish leading paper Dagens Nyheter (DN) publishes a one-page editorial on moral issues about torture that countries should observe. Countries are name-given, but not a single word about Sweden’s own wrongdoings and which even ended in UN sanctions for Sweden’s serious violation of the UN Absolute Ban On Torture. The DN-editorial even utters – as in the figure of taking away dust from the shoulders with one snap – “For others, perhaps already being in a incommunicado cell it experiences as torture”. But being incommunicado it is exactly what Assange has undergone after Sweden issued the absolutely unnecesssary arresting-order that threw Assange – without been charged – to an incommunicado cell in London, waiting for the hearing! And with the threat he shall be, again, immediately incommunicado if extradited to Sweden!
By Marcelo Ferrada de Noli
Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian Embassy 20 Dec 2012. Click on image for video with Assange’s speech Read the rest of this entry »
Wl Central – by admin on Sun, 05/27/2012
Sunday 27 May 2012 Stockholm: Swedish state radio attempted early this morning to lay the blame for difficulties in the ongoing investigation of an unrelated Swedish murder case on Julian Assange.
Their article published online attempts to claim Assange is obstructing the course of justice by appealing his case before the UK Supreme Court and that killers pursued by Swedish authorities might go free as a result of a ruling in his favour.
Two brothers were arrested in London on suspicion of involvement in the November 2011 murder of a 22 year old man in Stockholm’s Old Town. The man was found fatally wounded and later passed away in hospital. The two brothers fled Sweden after accusations were brought against them. The one brother agreed to be extradited back to Sweden where he is now sitting in detention, but the other has refused.
Radio Stockholm interviewed Joakim Eriksson, the prosecutor handling the case, who said he hoped for help in the extradition proceedings based on the Supreme Court’s ruling in Julian Assange’s case, which will be handed down on 30 May.
This latest gambit comes less than 72 hours before the ruling is to be announced in London.
Sweden wagging the EU again
The Swedes seem again to be involved in a ‘wag the dog’ scenario – or more correctly: to change the entire EU to suit their ideas of jurisprudence.
The Swedish authorities have already distinguished themselves by having their prisons condemned by human rights organisations. They have no trial by jury save in freedom of the press proceedings. They don’t even have educated jurists sitting on their court benches. They offer no bail whatsoever to people in Julian’s situation. They vehemently opposed his house arrest in December 2010, insisting he spend the holidays in Wandsworth prison.
They open, then shut, then reopen the Assange case, then refuse to come to an agreement to question Assange, refuse to use accepted means of interrogation for over 500 days. They hint that they want Assange in isolated custody to ‘soften him up’, and they refuse to notify Assange of the accusations against him in a language he understands.
They also refused to let Assange’s attorney Björn Hurtig view the complete case documentation and attempted (unsuccessfully) to stop him from witnessing at the High Court in Belmarsh this past February.
And now they’re trying to blame Julian Assange for an attempt by the highest court in England to bring about a much-needed reform in EAW policy.
11 March 2012: Former Minister for Justice Thomas Bodström (who is a partner in the law firm representing the 2 women) uses a blog about a London football derby to criticise British culture and the ’failure’ of the British courts in the Assange case. [English]
But what can one expect of a country that’s taken a year and a half to rule on a procedural judicial issue – namely in the case of Julian Assange, which is about whether a Swedish prosecutor has correctly filled in a European Arrest Warrant application?
[Expessen] tries to manipulate other Swedish journalists into Expressen’s defence by claiming that WikiLeaks is secretly gathering data on specific Swedish journalists, including taking pictures outside of their homes, investigating their finances and obtaining secret Swedish government documents on them. This is also absolutely false. If anyone is spying on these journalists, it is not WikiLeaks or anyone instructed by WikiLeaks. WikiLeaks recommends that these journalists report any suspicious behaviour to the police. – [WikiLeaks, 6 March 2012
Expressen refuses to release any of its claimed evidence and its editor, Thomas Mattsson is apparently too scared to debate WikiLeaks on SVT as to the merits. WikiLeaks demands [Expressen Editor in Chief] Thomas Mattsson issue a full, front page retraction, or resign. – WikiLeaks, 6 March 2012
23 February 2012: Professor Marcello Ferrada-Noli’s analysis of the extraordinary story broken by Expressen on 22 February about WikiLeaks’ so-called ’internal memo’, detailing a ’smear campaign’ against foreign minister Carl Bildt and ’the Swedish government’. The story even led to Bildt responding through a tweet and a blog post.
22 February 2012: Expressen tabloid attacks Assange (analysis to appear shortly)
Carl Bildt blogs about Expressen’s story.
1 December 2011: The “Duck Pond” Theses. Explaining Swedish journalism and the anti-Assange smear campaign Professor Marcello Ferrada Noli, witness at the Magistrate’s court.
29 November 2011: Further devious reports on Julian Assange in the Swedish National Television Marcello Ferrada-Noli
24 November 2011: Covert anti-Assange #talkaboutit media campaign, which has polarised the public debate about the Assange case on Swedish media, has won Bonnier’s national journalism prize.
3 November 2011: Corren.se editorial: Journalism prize for a lobby campaign? #Talkaboutit should not have won the National Journalism Prize, it should have won a PR Prize (in Swedish)
The #Talkaboutit Campaign / #Prataomdet
#Talkaboutit was a campaign initiated by journalist friends of complainant AA’s, Johanna Koljonen and Sofia Mirjamsdotter. On the night before Julian Assange arrived in Sweden, AA was socialising with Koljonen and fellow Social Democrat politician Kajsa Borgnäs, who was arrested for shoplifting on 19 November 2011 (see this account in English) and who is witness ’C’ in the investigation against Assange (her name is not anonymised in the Swedish police report pp. 21-22). The campaign was initially started on Twitter, and was going to use the hashtag #tackanna (#ThankYouAnna) referring to complainant AA. Those who started the campaign then decided not to use the hashtag because it appeared to assign guilt to Assange. However, the tweets show that the content of the ’grey zone’ campaign should stick to the ’Assange situation’. In a coordinated effort, the campaign was swept up by the mainstream press to polarise the debate around the investigation against Assange. An example of how, is the SVT ’Debatt’ programme (see below).
#Prataomdet was started by a network of people close to woman AA who worked in marketing and media. The campaign was a PR success, and managed to link Julian Assange to all the negative sexual experiences of contributors to the campaign. Organisers argued that #talkaboutit was not a campaign against Julian Assange, even though it could be interpreted as such. The lack of concern for Julian Assange’s prospect of a fair trial, and a disregard for the ethical implications of starting a media campaign with Julian Assange at the centre of it, did not attract significant attention. This despite the fact that Sweden is a country where ’lay judges’, who are untrained in law and are appointed by political parties, will judge Assange in the court room. The problems with #talkaboutit did not spoil the ’success’ of the campaign for most of the media. SvD, one of the two main newspapers in Sweden, attributed #prataomdet to Assange’s arrest. It also featured a picture of Assange on the article about #prataomdet.
SvD’s article about #talkaboutit (#prataomdet) features a picture of Julian Assange walking out of the High Court, freed on bail.
SvD’s article linked Assange and #prataomdet together, as did the SVT Debatt panel discussion on national TV, which discusses ’Is Julian Assange Innocent’ followed by the ’#talkaboutit’ campaign (see below).
Flashback forum opened a thread on 20 January 2011 that challenged the ’revolutionary’ characterisation of the campaign and the myth that was spreading to the media and the world spontaneously and organically. Johan Lundberg wrote a critical article twelve hours later in SvD and later published a famous blog post that tracked the genesis of the campaign online in which he wrote: “Various Twitter trails and screen dumps show that the #talkaboutit campaign was started with the purpose of shaping opinion in favour of the two women who had accused Julian Assange of rape (sic). Initially the campaign was going to have the tag #tackanna [#ThankYouAnna].” The twitter trail shows that AA’s friend and journalist Johanna Koljonen was instrumental in designing the coordinated campaign: Read the rest of this entry »
Could it be any more corrupt? From Laholms Tidning 29 December 2011 23:30.
Our rules for press ethics have been minimising lies and libel for a long time. Those rules have been successively discarded, leading to harm of individuals and a serious lack of trust in our media.
The picture of our king published immediately before the holidays is yet another example of the ethical decay. Our media had been writing about this picture for months: a picture that purportedly depicted the king in a compromising situation. But it was found when the picture was finally published that it was a Photoshop job. In other words: a lie had been the basis of a feverish campaign against our formal head of state.
We see innumerable examples of this lack of respect for press ethics: individuals being smeared and defamed, reality being twisted, no one bothering to check the facts. Harmful judgement calls and guilt by association being used without discretion, by supposedly good writers.
Protecting and defending one’s sources has been a code of honour for our media – but even that is eroding
Aftonbladet & GITMO
Aftonbladet published sensational details about GITMO in April, using WikiLeaks as their declared source. Bradley Manning was already in custody and subjected to what has been described as tortuous conditions.
The day before Aftonbladet published the scoops they got from WikiLeaks, they attacked their own sources in an infamous column by Jan Guillou. Guillou called the WikiLeaks spokesman Julian Assange ‘a little creep’, a judgement call Aftonbladet’s editor Jan Helin allows for his own source.
And he also allows an even more remarkable admonition in the same column directed at Bradley Manning, that Manning should come out and admit in public that he’s the WikiLeaks source.
So at the same time Aftonbladet are preparing the publication of secret source material, they publish a challenge to the suspected source, a source they’re required by the Swedish constitution to protect, asking him to step forward.
It is now clear, after that first judicial event, that Bradley Manning can’t count on any support from Swedish media, from the very companies that have in such case profited by him.
Bradley Manning should reasonably defend himself by pointing out he contributed to revealing US war crimes and high democratic ideals therefore excuse his leak of the information.
- Aftonbladet columnist and former KGB spy Jan Guillou
They curtsy and bow and grab at the sensational revelations of WikiLeaks (which may have come via Manning) but they remain neutral or indifferent when their purported source is threatened with capital punishment or a life in prison.
The prosecution of Bradley Manning is mentioned as a minor news item, one amongst many. There’s no way to see this as anything but a gross betrayal.
Not even Assange can count on support from the Swedish media who’ve used his source material.
Politicians in the US have openly encouraged Assange’s assassination – no protests from the Swedish media. Sweden’s leading journalists march instead to the beat of different drum – that of the powers that be.
And a ‘cultural editor’ at Expressen going by the name Karin Olsson writes in an international smear article that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is a ‘paranoid chauvinist pig’.
That’s our current level of press ethics in Sweden. That’s a serious situation.
Could it be any more corrupt?
- J Tribbiani
Du gamla, du fria, du fjällhöga nord, du tysta, du glädjerika sköna
Du tronar på minnen från fornstora dar då ärat ditt namn flög över jorden
Jag hälsar dig vänaste land uppå jord, din sol, din himmel, dina ängder gröna
- Swedish de facto ‘national anthem’ Read the rest of this entry »
Christine Assange – “The reason I support Wikileaks is not because Julian is my son, it is because I think Wikileaks is doing a good job, and it is what journalists should be doing.”
Interview by Mehdi – First published on 12-03-2012
Wikileaks’ revelations have had more impact than ‘simply’ revealing the true state of affairs in national and world politics: they have also showed that puppet governments (at the hands of powerful private interests) would stop at nothing to discourage such revelations from happening again in the future. Unfortunately these governments do not intend to change their policy to one that is more respectful of the foundations of democracy; they rather prefer to go after Wikileaks and its supporters, starting with its editor Julian Assange and his family. One way of attacking Assange has been the widespread use of smear and disinformation, made easy by the de-facto control of the mainstream media by the establishment (political and corporate).
We publish here our interview with Julian Assange’s mother, who is leading her own fight, a fight against that same smear based on making the facts of Wikileaks and her son’s complex case widely known, both on the Internet and in the street.
Assange and Wikileaks’ fight and its outcome are critical to the future of democracy: we urge you to (like says Christine) “get your facts”, and then join the action.
Can you tell us briefly about yourself Christine?
I am Julian’s mother, I’m 61 years old, I live in Queensland and I’m a freelance theatre worker. I make a living in a creative way and I enjoy painting and drawing. I also like swimming, and I live in a simple way. I don’t like computers much (laughs) but I’m getting a good education on the internet about the state of the world as I am currently helping Julian in his fight against extradition. I can’t tell you more about myself because I’m currently in hiding in a secret location for security reasons.
How was Julian when he was a child? Did anything suggest that he
felt such a strong commitment to justice and truth?
No, not in that sense, except that he was sensitive and compassionate. He wasn’t a child that valued material things. He loved nature, he had a gentle rapport with animals, and he was kind to people. He always asked “why” and enjoyed discussing theories, and he was quite a reader.
And a bit adventurous maybe?
Yes, quite adventurous. He liked to go exploring with his dog Poss, and enjoyed doing other adventurous things like building rafts with his friends on the river. He also enjoyed traveling.
Do you think illegal, anti-democratic and dangerous influence by corporate and political lobbies is taking place today at the Australian government level?
I think it’s gotten a lot worse. It’s safe to say that our government is virtually owned by the US at the moment, especially the Prime Minister. It’s shown by the fact that in the Parliament only the Greens would stand up for Julian, even though the Australian public is very supportive of him and Wikileaks, and even though the top thinkers, lawyers, human rights activists, academics, intellectuals, editors have come out in public. And yet the Prime Minister is doing what the US wants, even though everybody else disagrees with it (Julian has an 87% support rate in Australia) – and this is because she may be working for the US and not for the Australian people.
After the publication of Cablegate by Wikileaks, the Australian government threatened to cancel Julian’s passport, which set a dangerous precedent. How much do you think an Australian passport is worth today, and what does it say about the government’s concern for its people’s safety?
It doesn’t seem that it’s worth much under this government, does it? That’s what a Stratfor email said: a Stratfor analyst was advising to cancel Julian’s passport at approximately the same time as Robert McLelland [former Attorney-General of Australia] came out and suggested cancelling Julian’s passport. So basically it all goes back to the same issue: Australia is not acting as an independent nation, but merely as a “colony” of the US.
There have been suspicions for a while about a secret indictment against Julian following a secret Grand Jury in the US but now, thanks to the Stratfor emails release, we have confirmation of the existence of that ‘anti-public-scrutiny’ indictment since early 2011, over a year ago…
Yes, there obviously has been a Grand Jury. What concerns me is that this Grand Jury is made up of a jury in the area where there’s a high concentration of military contractors and their families, i.e. Alexandria, Virginia, and there’s four prosecutors, no judge and no defence team allowed, therefore it cannot by anybody’s standards in a democratic society be considered by people as a just jury. It’s a Star Chamber, a set-up, and any indictment coming from a Grand Jury that’s run that way should be considered invalid by any government, just like any subsequent extradition warrant by the US. Read the rest of this entry »
6 March 2012 (18:00 GMT)
Over the past week various media in Sweden have been critically discussing WikiLeaks affairs. Much of these discussions have been based on two fabricated reports that originate from the daily tabloid Expressen.
The recent fabrications picked up in the Swedish media about alleged WikiLeaks plots on Swedish journalists and the Swedish state are completely false. WikiLeaks does not know who is behind this defamation, but perhaps those fearful of the impact of the cables referred to in the Rolling Stone article have attempted to disarm future exposures relating to Sweden’s Foreign Minister. Read the rest of this entry »
The February Hearing was held on 7, 8, 11 February 2011. The judgement was delivered on 24 February.
Grounds for challenging Assange’s arrest warrant
The arguments of the defence are summarised below. The original submission is available here.
1. The EAW is not valid
Marianne Ny does not have authority to issue the warrant and is not ’a judicial authority’:
Marianne Ny is not “the Director of Public Prosecutions” as referred to by the prosecution.
Whether she has authority to issue the warrant is a fundamental question going to the heart of the court’s jurisdiction in this case.
There is lack of clarity as to who is the judicial authority in this case.
Expert opinion of Brita Sundberg-Weitman:
“In my opinion, the EAW has not been issued for prosecution but, strictly speaking, been issued for the purposes of enforcing the order for detention in absentia referred to at box (b) of the EAW. Therefore, the Swedish National Police Board was the only authority which could issue the EAW.”
Witness statement by Björn Hurtig:
“I can confirm that Ms. Ny is not the Director of Public Prosecutions, as she is incorrectly described in the English version of the EAW (see page 5). The Swedish word to denote her title is överåklagare and in fact means ’Senior Prosecutor’ and she is one of a number of senior prosecutors. The Director of Public Prosecution in Sweden (i.e. the most senior Prosecutor in Sweden and the equivalent of the DPP in England, Keir Starmer) is the Riksåklagaren – the Prosecutor General – Mr. Anders Perklev.”
Even if Ms. Ny were to technically fall under this category, Ms. Ny’s personal and professional investment in the Assange case (see Sundberg-Weitman’s comments about Ny under Gender Politics) would cast into doubt her suitability as a judicial authority. Although not further defined in the 2003 Extradition Act, a judicial authority can be defined as a person or body independently exercising judicial power. Ms. Ny could not be said to be independently exercising judicial power given that, as expert witness Sven-Erik Alhem (retired Chief District Prosecutor) explained:
“Ms. Ny is the person who both makes the decision to revive the rape investigation and then handles that investigation herself. It may still be considered that here, in a sense, she is ’judge in her own cause’ – having decided to reverse Ms Finné’s decision, she may be perceived as having an interest in deciding to charge Mr. Assange.”
2. EAW sought for improper purpose: disproportionality and abuse of process
The warrant has not been issued “for the purpose of being prosecuted … for an offence”, but merely for questioning.
- Evidence emerged that Julian Assange was not wanted for prosecution in Sweden in the hearings on 7 and 8 February (see the Judgement, p. 15).
- Marianne Ny made a late submission on 4 February explaining her position (Judgement, p. 16->http://www.judiciary.gov.uk/Resourc…]).
- Julian Assange’s defence counsel challenged the admissibility of Marianne Ny’s late submission, on grounds that it relates to disputed evidence and she should therefore have submitted herself to cross-examination (inter alia, see the Judgement, p. 11).
- See Controversies: Prosecution
The conduct by the Prosecutor Marianne Ny amounted to abuse.
- There have already been abuses in Sweden that cannot be remedied: disclosure to the media, exclusion from appeal, non-disclosure of exculpatory evidence to the defendant, non-interrogation, political intervention. (These are explained in more detail in the Judgement, p. 24).
- See Controversies: Investigation and Prosecution.
3. The offences described in the EAW are not extradition offences
Expert witness and Professor of English Law at the University of Oxford, Andrew Ashworth, provided an analysis on:
- Double criminality – whether the offences described in the warrant would also be offences under English Law.
- The prosecution’s argument that it is possible to infer Assange’s criminal intent (mens rea) from the complainants’ statements.
Ashworth found that on the evidence provided, Assange’s conduct would not amount to offences under UK law because there was no suggestion that the complainants did not consent and in all cases Assange may have reasonably believed that the women did not object to his conduct.
See Ashworth’s analysis of each of the four offences listed in the EAW, under Allegations.
4. Extraneous considerations
The EAW has been issued for political purposes.
- If extradited he may be prejudiced at his trial or punished, detained or restricted in his personal liberty by reason of his political opinions.
- See Political Interference and Gender Politics
5. Julian Assange will not face a fair trial in accordance with Article 6.1 of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR)
- Assange would be tried behind closed doors, which is contrary to the ECHR, Art. 47 of the European Charter of Fundamental Rights, and the UK’s fundamental constitutional principles.
- Political interference by the Prime Minister of Sweden is calculated to encourage the Swedish media and legal officials to pursue Mr Assange’s guilt and to regard him as a public enemy.
- If Julian Assange is extradited it is more than likely that he will be extradited to the United States where he risks being sent to Guantánamo Bay or executed as a traitor.
- The extradition of Julian Assange would violate articles 3 (torture), 6 (fair trial), 8 (private and family life) and 10 (freedom of expression).
- See Rule of Law and Fair Trial for Julian Assange?. Read the rest of this entry »
Professors Blogg – Friday, January 27, 2012
by Siv O’Neall | November 11, 2011 – 11:41am
Crossposted from Axis of Logic
Swedish director of public prosecutions, Marianne Ny, who requested Assange’s extradition is under fire.
As the French leftist newspaper Libération states, the accusations for rape against Julian Assange were intended to “destroy” Wikileaks ‘ (August 22, 2010).
“There have been [headlines in the media] worldwide claiming that I was suspected of rape (…) And I know from experience that the enemies of WikiLeaks continue to trumpet things even after they were denied.” he says.
Since there is a strong suspicion that political interests are behind the extremely suspicious wheelings and dealings of the Swedish system of justice, we are posting excerpts from an article which was posted in The Standard, New Zealand, on December 4th, 2010 and also by the site Radsoft on December 4th, 2010 “Assange, FSI, Marianne Ny, & The Swedish Media” (FSI – Finers Stephens Innocent is a central London based law firm).
There have been contradictory statements by Swedish legal officers ever since this brouhaha started in August 2010. Two women were wrongly quoted by police officers as having been the victims of rape, whereas only one of the women was complaining of anything at all, and definitely not of rape, which was simply the interpretation of the police officer. The accusation of rape was later withdrawn by the woman in question. The expression ‘trumped-up’ charges comes back rather frequently in the writings dealing with this legal scandal.
The accusations have been moving back and forth from rape to sexual coersion and then to coercion. The Swedish director of public prosecutions, Marianne Ny, seems to be the official who has been mishandling this case and made herself guilty of lies and strange delays from the very beginning. She overruled the decision by the previous prosecutor, Eva Finné, without even having seen and talked to Julian Assange who had repeatedly asked to see her. Read the rest of this entry »
Tuesday 2 november 2011
It was then when the international criticism started to pour over Sweden. The international opinion was astonished. Swedish officials either failed to understand the above as an aggravating wrongdoing, or could not accept such criticism. They instead blamed Assange himself, as “the enemy” of Sweden. So he was portrayed in a series of documentary at the National Swedish Television and in the press. These vengeful reactions from the part of the media have been analysed in these columns, latest in the post Swedish psychological warfare against Wikileaks and Assange.