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Following the Ecuadorian government's withdrawal of asylum, Julian Assange was arrested and removed from the country's embassy in London. He faces charges in the US of conspiracy to break into a computer, relating to Wikileaks' publication of more than 250,000 classified military documents and diplomatic cables in 2010. Should Assange be extradited to the US to face these charges? Was he doing a public service? Will he get a fair trial? Should he be sent to Sweden to face sexual assault charges instead?

Positions

Arguments supporting this position

Details

Context

The #MeToo movement represented a leap forward for rape victims across the globe. It was a watershed moment which showed victims of sexual violence that Western society would take their credible claims seriously no matter who they were made against. It demonstrated a public willingness to hold powerful men to account for their actions and an end to the culture of silence surrounding rape and sexual assault.

The Argument

If the UK does not extradite Assange to Sweden to face the credible allegations against him, it would send a strong message to other survivors of rape. It would represent a shift back to the pre-MeToo era when powerful men could bully and belittle accusors to escape justice. This would be a direct endorsement of rape culture. It must not be allowed to happen, not just for the sake of the two victims in Sweden, but for the sake of rape survivors everywhere.[1]

Counter arguments

Assange argues that several parts of the two alleged victims' stories are not consistent with women that have been subject to sexual assault. 1. Both victims allegedly gave their consent to sex with a condom. 2. Miss Ardin continued to share a bed with Assange for several days after the rape and spoke highly of him to her friends. 3. Miss W allegedly shared text messages with a friend several days after the alleged encounter in which she and her friend joked about making financial profit from her encounter with Assange. Assange argues that these facts demonstrate the falsity of the allegations made against him. He believes the case against him is political in nature. Therefore, he should not be extradited to face these clearly fictitious claims.[2]

Premises

[P1] Assange faces credible accusations of rape. [P2] If the UK does not extradite him, he will not face those allegations. [P3] This would send a dangerous message to other rape survivors.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] The allegations are not credible but politically motivated.

References

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/media/2019/apr/13/women-groups-say-extradite-julian-assange-to-sweden
  2. https://www.theguardian.com/media/2010/dec/17/julian-assange-sweden

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This page was last edited on Wednesday, 1 May 2019 at 16:43 UTC