Wanted for questioning
(Ramstedt / Alexandersson) Founder of Wikileaks Julian Assange's possible extradition to Sweden and the present Swedish legal case against him is causing an international scrutinizing gaze at our countrys judicial system . There are indeed many strange misconceptions in this reporting. But there are also things that are highly relevant - and that should be reviewed, clarified and criticized.
I will not go into all the strange details about the swedish case against Julian Assange. For those of you who want more information about that, click on home (Hem) in the menu, and write Assange in the search field. You will find a lot of information, both in english and swedish.
In Sweden the politicians act as judge and jury
What we will look at here though is the swedish legal system as a whole and especially the completely absurd fact that there are politicians acting as judges in our lower courts. Something so far unseen in any other democracy anywhere else in any part of the world.
There must of course be a watertight bulkhead between a free democratic country' s legislative and judicial branches. Our prime minister and other prominent politicians have also demonstrated our politicians eagerness to get involved in the judging of people. He has amongst other things publically more or less called Julian Assange a criminal.
It´s worth mentioning however that there is no rule that says that you have to be active in a political party to become a layman's judge in Sweden. But it is the political parties that appoints them, and funnily enough they only appoint members of their own party. And in a country where more or less all the parties in the parliament are feminists, it can be pretty hard to get a fair trial when accused of a crime like rape.
No time limit for locking up and isolating people pending trial
Another flaw in the Swedish legal system is perfunctory arrests and excessive duration of detention periods. Something that Sweden have been criticized for time and time again by the UN:s torture committee inspectors. Especially since the detentions often are spent in total isolation. Suicides are not uncommon.
Swedish detention cell
The circumstances of the case against Assange illustrates this. Assange has so far spent over two years in house arrest in England, even though he has not been charged with any crime. In Sweden he faces the risk of spending an unspecified time in a prison cell with no contact what so ever with the outside world.
There are no time limit when it comes to detentions in Sweden. The decision must however be reevaluated by the court every two weeks, unless "there are obvious reasons that this isn´t necessary."
The same court by the way, where the politicians act as judges.
And it is enough to go to court and watch a couple of negotiations to realize that the detention is an instrument used both liberally and carelessly by the Swedish judicial system. The detention problem, set in relation to the Assange case, is described by one of Swedens top lawyers Per E Samuelson in Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet. He writes:
Due to crimes against human rights
"In a constitutional state the guilty gets locked up, not the innocent. By locking people up before you know if they are guilty, the effect of the Swedish overuse of detention is that lots of people who are innocent has been incarcerated. This is unfair, outrageous and offensive."
This kind of international attention is of course very damaging for Sweden as a state. Especially since Sweden cares for it´s reputation as a champion for human rights all around the world. No one wants to be seen as a hypocrite right? Still it seems our politicians are not particularly interested in doing something to correct the problems in our own backyard. The big question is if they even understand what is wrong?
On the other hand, those of us swedes, that for years and years have fought to draw attention to Sweden's crimes against human rights, whether it may be on issues about law or parental rights, are glad this is happening. It envokes hope that the international pressure can force Sweden to start questioning it´s own views on these matters. As we all know it´s much easier to find faults on others than seeing ones own.
Every defender of free speech and every citizens right under article 6 of the EU declaration of human rights, should boycott Sweden until they start treating their own people in accordance to their own big words about others. You would be doing us all a big favor.
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