Letter: The demonisation of Assange paves the way for more rape and murder by the State

Julian Assange
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We are relieved the court ruled not to extradite Julian Assange to the US. His immediate release from Belmarsh, classified as torture by the UN Special Rapporteur, especially under coronavirus, must follow. The refusal of bail must be reversed immediately.

As an anti-rape organisation, we resent the original use of alleged sex offences to facilitate Assange’s extradition to the US via Sweden. Knowing the evidence, that case was never viable, but it initiated and fuelled a witch-hunt against Assange and diverted from the real target: his Wikileaks reporting.

Assange and Chelsea Manning exposed rape, torture, and murder by the US-UK coalition: war crimes that we all urgently needed to know about. After the 2003 invasion and occupation of Iraq, we wrote an open letter, ‘No Blood or Rape for Oil’, to every woman MP. We were alarmed that none even acknowledged it.

The witch-hunt against Assange invited women furious at the continuing neglect of rape by the criminal justice system to join that system against Assange. This manipulation is typical of how governments protect themselves while claiming to protect us. It proved irresistible to many.

Contrast the determination to get Assange – the work hours and millions of pounds over 10 years – with the deadly lack of state protection for most victims of violence. While rape and domestic abuse soar, even faster under the coronavirus lockdown, they have been practically decriminalised. Women have had to campaign to expose police and CPS trawling through victims’ social media and sexual history to discredit them and drop their cases. The lucky 1.5% of reported rapes that ever reach court may have waited four years to get there.

If the government was serious about rape and domestic violence, it would make sure the police, CPS, and courts – both criminal and family – prioritise victims regardless of race, age, class, immigration status, or relationship to their attacker. They would increase benefits, resources and services women need to protect themselves and their children, and extend them to all women, including immigrants and asylum seekers excluded by the ‘no recourse to public funds’ rule.

They would end the ‘presumption of contact’ which enables violent men to use the family courts to continue their reign of terror against women and children and avoid prosecution. They would stop accusing mothers of ‘parental alienation’ when they report child abuse by violent fathers. And they would stop prosecuting rape victims they refuse to believe.

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Much of this could be addressed in the Domestic Abuse Bill currently in the House of Lords. But the government has resisted amending the bill as demanded by women’s organisations. Instead, they promote the Covert Human Intelligence Source (Criminal Conduct) Bill and Overseas Operations bills which would enable rape, torture, and even murder by anyone the state gives a licence to, including corporations. The war crimes that Assange and Manning found proof of and publicised would be legalised and extended to UK soil.

Help us to get basic protections in the Domestic Abuse Bill and join the mounting opposition to the so-called Spy Cops and War Crimes Immunity bills.

Lisa Longstaff – Women Against Rape


Featured image via YouTube

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  • Show Comments
    1. Baraitser has refused him bail officially now. His torture continues until the appeal is heard, whenever that is.

      I notice the complete lack of courage and journalistic integrity from ANY of our news titles in print and, of course, our television news too. Having entirely failed to report any of the facts relating to the case, to the extradition hearing or the false allegations that were to be used to get him to the US in the first place they have now, some of them, printed articles about ‘what this means to journalism’ On the one hand I can understand the chilling effect this has had but our entire press in this country has been tamed and dares not contradict the ‘party line’ now. We have slipped down the ‘league tables’ of press freedom in the past few years too.

      Literally the ONLY place to get accurate and full reporting on Assange’s hearings was on Craig Murray’s blog. He himself is being brought up on charges relating to his journalism this year too. They are alleging that whilst reporting the same facts from the same court as printed newspapers he committed contempt of court by ‘jigsaw identification’ of protected witnesses. His ‘trial’ will be heard in private with no jury and only a single judge. He could be sentenced to up to two years in jail for being a reporter from the Salmond case.

      Journalism is under attack. No one seems to have the courage to do anything about it save for a few brave souls..

    2. thank you Lisa, thank you ElDee, great comments, I totally agree and believe Julian should be released from prison immediately. Hearing about Baraitser’s statements in court reminds me of the crazy-making exchanges of trauma-based mind-control perpetrators I have read about. None of her judgments make any sense whatsoever, so we, the defense and Julian are left totally confused and ‘off-balance’ so to speak.

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