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Michael Moore Pens Note To Swedish Government On Assange And Issue Of Rape

Callie Schweitzer |
December 17, 2010 | 3:20 p.m. PST


Director Michael Moore takes on the Swedish government in a piece on The Huffington Post where he asks point blank why "Sweden refuses to deal with the very real tragedy of rape?"

Citing a special report from Amnesty International and human rights groups across the world, Moore notes, "Sweden just doesn't take sexual assault against women seriously."

He points to statistics that show Sweden having the highest per capita number of reported rapes in Europe and data showing the number of rapes has quadrupuled in the last 20 years while convictions have decreased.

Put simply, Moore says, "Message to rapists? Sweden loves you!"

The director then moves the conversation to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, whom he openly supports:

So imagine our surprise when all of a sudden you decided to go after one Julian Assange on sexual assault charges. Well, sort of: first you charged him. Then after investigating it, you dropped the most serious charges and rescinded the arrest warrant.

Then a conservative MP put pressure on you and, lo and behold, you did a 180 and reopened the Assange investigation. Except you still didn't charge him with anything. You just wanted him for "questioning." So you -- you who have sat by and let thousands of Swedish women be raped while letting their rapists go scott-free -- you decided it was now time to crack down on one man -- the one man the American government wants arrested, jailed or (depending on which politician or pundit you listen to) executed. You just happened to go after him, on one possible "count of unlawful coercion, two counts of sexual molestation and one count of rape (third degree)." And while thousands of Swedish rapists roam free, you instigated a huge international manhunt on Interpol for this Julian Assange!

Moore has previously received heat for his backing of Assange.

MSNBC personality Keith Olbermann hosted the director on Tuesday night after Moore offered $20,000 of his money to bail out Assange.

Some felt Moore "expressed a 'dismissive' attitude over the rape allegations against Assange."

But Moore's comments may have been taken out of context, Mediaite notes:

"Moore appeared to dismiss the accusations as 'hooey' (although he was actually referring to what he views as the use of the allegations as a pretext to silence Assange)...Jezebel’s headline highlights the “hooey” remark, but in context, Moore is clearly referring to Assange’s arrest, not the allegations themselves."

Tigerbeatdown.com launched an online campaign to get an apology from Moore for his "rape apologism," and shame both he and Olbermann for their actions.

Moore seems to address these issues in his letter noting, "I don't pretend to know what happened between Mr. Assange and the two women complainants (all I know is what I've heard in the media, so I'm as confused as the next person). And I'm sorry if I've jumped to any unnecessary or wrong-headed conclusions in my efforts to state a very core American value: All people are absolutely innocent until proven otherwise beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law."

But what appears most important to Moore is exposing the Swedish government for what he sees as hypocrisy: "This tactic of using a rape charge to go after minorities or troublemakers, guilty or innocent -- while turning a blind eye to clear crimes of rape the rest of the time -- is what I fear is happening here. I want to make sure that good people not remain silent and that you, Sweden, will not succeed if in fact you are in cahoots with corrupt governments such as ours."



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