Julian Assange. I, like most people, don’t really have a clue what he did or what he’s alleged to have done. The story seemed to change so rapidly early on that I don’t think many people really know. The fact it wasn’t consistent from the start puts some suspicion on it, and it also doesn’t help that an allegation appeared, disappeared because it was considered trivial by the Swedish authorities, then re-appeared ten times worse to coincide with a big Wikileaks release. In between the charges disappearing and reappearing, he was allowed to leave Sweden.
Assange has good reason to worry. Wikileaks has upset a lot of people. The UK threatened to invade the Ecuadorian embassy, which would be at the very least a fucking stupid thing to do, and, I should hope, a course of action which would not be proposed under normal circumstances. The fact that forcefully entering the embassy was even proposed is reason to think there’s something a going on a little deeper.
Sweden has refused to guarantee that it would not extradite him to the US. And the US is not exactly a place you want to get extradited to. The US’s prison system is famously barbaric, the US runs a modern day concentration camp externally from all judicial processes and accountability, and the US thinks it’s okay to send squads of marines into foreign countries to assassinate people it doesn’t like. If you upset the US, you have a very very strong argument for avoiding anything that might let them get their hands on you.
Assange should face the correct process for the rape charges. But there’s too much grounding to the suspicion that the correct process wouldn’t actually occur. So we’re at a bit of an impasse. This suits Assange quite nicely as he can portray himself as a victim and try to sidestep the charges. It doesn’t really suit anyone else, but that’s how they chose to play it.