Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Letter to Sydney University Professor of Constitutional Law Anne Twomey

Today I sent the following email to anne.twomey@sydney.edu.au (
Dear Ms Twomey,

In a recent and widely-read Sydney University blog, you described Julian Assange's current situation as "self-inflicted incarceration". http://t.co/KxWlTXanWj

I found your educated opinions as an expert on Constitutional Law very interesting, but I think you should apologise for this gross misrepresentation of Mr Assange's circumstances, especially as his freedom may ultimately depend on how Australian courts determine such issues.

Firstly, Mr Assange is not "incarcerated". He is free to leave the Ecuadorian embassy at any time. He has of course been given Political Asylum by the Ecuadorian government, who explained their reasons for granting such asylum in considerable detail (http://links.org.au/node/2992). To briefly remind you of their main points:
  1. Julian Assange is an award-winning communications professional internationally known for his struggles for freedom of expression, press freedom and human rights in general;
  2. Mr. Assange shared privileged documents and information generated by various sources that affected employees, countries and organizations with a global audience;
  3. That there is strong evidence of retaliation by the country or countries that produced the information disclosed by Mr. Assange, retaliation that may endanger his safety, integrity, and even his life;
  4. That, despite Ecuador’s diplomatic efforts, countries which have been asked to give adequate safeguards for the protection and safety for the life of Mr. Assange have refused to facilitate them;
  5. That Ecuadorian authorities are certain of the possibility that Mr. Assange could be extradited to a third country outside the European Union without proper guarantees for their safety and personal integrity;
  6. That legal evidence clearly shows that, given an extradition to the United States of America, it would be unlikely for Mr. Assange to receive a fair trial, and likely that he would be judged by special or military courts, where there is a high probability of suffering cruel and degrading treatment, and be sentenced to life imprisonment or capital punishment, which would violate his human rights;
  7. That while Mr. Assange must answer for the investigation in Sweden, Ecuador is aware that the Swedish prosecutor has had a contradictory attitude that denied Mr. Assange the full exercise of the legitimate right of defense;
  8. Ecuador is convinced that the procedural rights of Mr. Assange have been infringed upon during the investigation;
  9. Ecuador has observed that Mr. Assange lacks the protection and assistance that should be received from the State of which he is a citizen;
  10. That, following several public statements and diplomatic communications by officials from Britain, Sweden and the USA, it is inferred that these governments would not respect international conventions and treaties, and would give priority to domestic law, in violation of explicit rules of universal application and,
  11. That, if Mr. Assange is remanded to custody in Sweden (as is customary in this country), a chain of events would begin that would prevent further protective measures from being taken to avoid possible extradition to a third country.
Mr Assange clearly has a very reasonable grounds for fearing onwards extradition from Sweden to the USA, and even more reason to expect harsh treatment from the US government. So I struggle to understand how you can describe his situation as "self-inflicted".

Perhaps you think he should not have published the Iraqi War Logs, the Afghan War Logs, the Collateral Murder video and the "CableGate" US Diplomatic cables? But major news organisations assisted in these publications. Should they also have held back from publishing proof of war crimes?

Or perhaps it is your understanding of the sexual allegations made against Mr Assange in Sweden which leads you to conclude that his situation is "self-inflicted"? If that is the case, please consider the following:
  1. Both women agree that the sex was consensual. Sweden may be the only country in the world where such consensual sex can be classified as a crime. Where both parties disagree over such events, the Swedish legal process places the burden of proof on the alleged perpetrator. The concept of "innocent till proven guilty" is thrown out the door;
  2. Woman AA has previous ties with an anti-Cuban activist group in Miami; is a member of the same ultra-feminist Swedish political party as many others involved in the case (including police, prosecutors, and lawyers); invited Assange to speak in Sweden, told him he could use her appartment as she would not be there, then turned up the next day, asked him to stay and had sex with him; later alleged she was raped filed complaints [edit: see PS below] but meanwhile continued having sex with Assange, and continued boasting publicly about her relationship with him; alleges she was concerned about HIV but was nonchalant about Assange having sex with the other woman SW ("she can have him") and did not get a blood test herself; deleted tweets such as that after making the allegations; was told by police that evidence was needed to reopen the case, then returned to her appartment to supposedly find a weeks-old condom (who keeps old condoms lying around?) which when tested did not show traces of either her DNA or Assanges; etc etc etc.
  3. Woman SW was encouraged by woman AA to go to the police, claiming she only wanted Assange to get a HIV test, but then refused to sign her statement and left in distress after realising the police planned to arrest Assange (under Swedish law, the police can decide to press charges in such cases even though victims do not want to); claims she was "railroaded"; has barely been heard of since and still has not signed her statement.
  4. You can read much more about these issues in a list of "Talking Points" compiled by Julian Assange's mother Christine: http://wlcentral.org/node/2486 Please see justice4assange.com or waca.net.au for even more information.
As the above links confirm, the Swedish government and prosecutors have repeatedly abandoned due process and effectively have show little interest in resolving this case on behalf of the two women. Assange still has not been charged with any crime in any country,. The Swedish prosecutor only wants to question him but refuses to explain why he cannot be questioned in London, as has happened in other similar Swedish extradition cases.

If he goes to Sweden, Assange will be immediately placed in solitary confinement, even if his case is delayed for months. Meanwhile Sweden has a history of rendering innocent people to the CIA (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Repatriation_of_Ahmed_Agiza_and_Muhammad_al-Zery - the current Swedish Ambassador to Australia was involved in that cover up) and the Swedish/US Bilateral Treaty gets around safeguards of normal extradition with a fast-track "Temporary Surrender" clause.

Given all the above information, it boggles my mind that anyone would describe Julian Assange's current situation as "self inflicted incarceration".

I ask you again to issue a public apology. If you still hold to your view, please explain why and I will be happy to provide more specific information.

Sincere regards,

Gary Lord,
Spokesperson for WikiLeaks Australian Citizens Alliance (waca.net.au)
WikiLeaks Party member
Twitter: @Jaraparilla
I didn't even mention the US Grand Jury... Please feel free to contact Prof. Twomey yourself.

PS: Updated text at request of Christine Assange to remove error: Woman AA did not tell police she was "raped" - police made that determination. I sent two polite emails to Prof. Twomey but still have had no reply.