Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Assange bailed

Julian Assange, co-founder of Wikileaks, has been freed on bail pending extradition proceedings on a Swedish charge of sexual assault, though the Swedes are lodging an immediate appeal, which seems pointless. Assange is probably the most recognisable person in Europe at the moment.

Some important points which seem to have gone unmentioned recently:
1. Innocent until proven guilty.
2. Sexual violence is a serious crime.
3. Sweden is a mature and independent democracy with a good reputation for an independent judiciary. Perhaps there is murky behaviour afoot, but let's not rush to judgement.
4. Julian Assange is not Wikileaks.
5. It is possible to be morally flawed in some regards and righteous in others. People are complicated.
6. If he's guilty of sexual assault, that doesn't mean his actions in regard to Wikileaks are somehow tainted. Likewise, if you're opposed to Wikileaks, Assange's other behaviour shouldn't alter your perspective.
7. I still haven't heard Hillary Clinton explain why publishers of leaked material are guilty of espionage, nor why the CIA wanted the DNA of United Nations officials. The rest we can argue about, but this is pretty clearly non-diplomatic behaviour.

No comments: