Monday, September 26, 2011

Violating 5A rights

The NY Times reports:
In his current circumstance, the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange is more hunted than hunter, fighting extradition to Sweden on accusations of sexual misconduct while struggling to maintain the influence of WikiLeaks even as he remains here at Ellingham Hall, ... In December, Mr. Assange was unable to meet the terms of bail because he had no permanent address — he is an itinerant who leads a stateless organization that operates in an online world without borders. Mr. Smith, after consulting his wife, Pranvera Shema, decided they would provide Mr. Assange with an address, a roof over his head and a place to manage his legal case. ... He wears an electronic bracelet, reports to the local police every day and, to the extent he can, continues to push the WikiLeaks agenda. ...

But if Mr. Assange is in compliance with the conditions of his bail, he remains at the margins of the law. Federal authorities in the United States and Australia continue to investigate whether the release of classified information by WikiLeaks constitutes criminal behavior that has endangered various operatives. And Swedish prosecutors are seeking his extradition for questioning — he has yet to be charged — on accusations of sexual misconduct with two women.
So Assange has been held by the UK police for almost a year, and he has not been charged with any crime. In the USA, it is unconstitutional to hold a suspect for even one day under such circumstances. He is only being held for questioning aimed at forcing him to incriminate himself, and in the USA he would have a constitutional fifth amendment right not to do that.

I do not even agree with saying that Assange is fighting "accusations of sexual misconduct", if he has not been charged. He is not even fighting interrogation, since he has agreed to be questioned in London. He is only fighting a very peculiar and oppressive form of Swedish entrapment.

I have read a bunch of articles about Assange, but none has explained this simple fact that Assange is being subjected to what we Americans agree is a fundamental violation of his civil rights. Whether he is a good guy or a bad guy, we should all criticize the UK govt for holding him.

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