Posted by | February 9, 2011 00:23 | Filed under: Top Stories

By Cate Regan

Brita Sundberg-Weitman, a retired Swedish appeals court judge, apparently doesn’t think that Julian Assange’s prosecutor,  Marianne Ny, is fit to serve in the case. Why?

Sundberg-Weitman, a published academic and associate professor at Stockholm University, accused Ny of having a “rather biased view against men,” according to an account by Britain’s Press Assocation. “She seems to take it for granted that everybody under prosecution is guilty. I think she is so preoccupied with the situation of battered women and raped women that she has lost balance.”

Oh, okay. So a man accused of rape cannot be prosecuted by a woman who is “preoccupied” with the physical abuse of women? Well, isn’t that interesting. Not only is that judgment awful on its own, but apparently Sundberg-Weitman has never even met Ny. She judged Ny “on what she had read in Swedish newspapers.”

In any case, Sundberg-Weitman’s testimony was part of a wider effort by Assange’s lawyers to argue that extradition would breach his human rights and that Assange risks being taken against his will to the United States and executed. But a barrister representing the Swedish authorities said the fears are unfounded, and the proper legal process is being followed.

In all of Europe, Sweden has the highest level of rape, as well as one of the developed world’s lowest conviction rates, TIME reported in December.

Each year, Sweden records 46 cases of reported rape per 100,000 people, roughly twice the rate in the U.S. or the U.K. Yet the conviction rate is a measly 10%, one of the lowest in the developed world. And the problem seems to be getting worse: the rate of reported sex crimes has increased by 60% in the past decade, according to government statistics.

Imagine that you are a prosecutor charged with defending justice for your society. Wouldn’t you be “preoccupied” with numbers like that?

Many experts, like Karin Sandell of Uppsala University, argue that the higher rate of reported rape cases is due to Swedish women being empowered to go to the police. And even if that is the case, that does not mean that Swedish prosecutors shouldn’t try accused rapists in court. Especially with a conviction rate as shoddy as Sweden’s.

I shouldn’t have to say this, but being anti-rape is not being anti-men. Being anti-rape is being pro-justice. If that sentiment feels too anti-men for you, then maybe you operate under a rather unjust concept of what justice is.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Cate