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George Galloway: 'The Julian Assange Sex Crime Allegations, If True, Are Not Rape'

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Respect MP George Galloway has ignited fierce debate on Twitter after posting a podcast and several tweets relating to the sex crime allegations against WikiLeaks' Julian Assange.

The Bradford West MP also retweeted a blog post from a follower - which named the two women who have made the accusations against Assange, and gave details about their personal lives.

His comments were condemned by Rape Crisis as "offensive and deeply concerning".

On his podcast, Good Night with George Galloway, posted on YouTube, Galloway discussed Sunday's speech by Assange, who is holed up in the Ecuadorian Embassy.

Around 21 minutes into the video, he began by saying: "You decide what this is about. If you can't, you probably ought to be watching CBBC.

"What I am going to say is going to be controversial, because somebody has to say this. A reign of intellectual terror has descended on this subject."

He added: "Let me tell you, I think that Julian Assange's personal sexual behaviour is something sordid, disgusting, and I condemn it.

"But even taken at its worst, the allegations made against him by the two women – and I'm not even going into their political connections, I'm going to leave that for others and for another day.

"I'm going to leave the fact that one, maybe both, of his accusers have the strangest of links to the strangest of people, organisations and states, I'm going to leave that entirely aside.

"Even taken at its worst, if the allegations made by these two women were true, 100% true, and even if a camera in the room captured them, they don't constitute rape.

"At least not rape as anyone with any sense can possibly recognise it. And somebody has to say this.

"Let's take woman A. Woman A met Julian Assange, invited him back to her flat, gave him dinner, went to bed with him, had consensual sex with him. Claims that she woke up to him having sex with her again. This is something which can happen.

"I mean not everybody needs to be asked prior to each insertion. Some people believe that when you go to bed with somebody, take off your clothes, and have sex with them and then fall asleep, you're already in the sex game with them.

"It might be really bad manners not to have tapped her on the shoulder and said, "do you mind if I do it again?".

"It might be really sordid and bad sexual etiquette, but whatever else it is, it is not rape or you bankrupt the term rape of all meaning.

"I don't believe either of those women, I don't believe either of these stories."

The controversial MP later defended his remarks on Twitter, claiming that what constitutes a sexual offence in Sweden would not be considered such a crime in the UK.


George Galloway
I think the allegation is that she was asleep Andy. After having consensual sex with him whilst awake. Do keep up

George Galloway
were you there? In the bed with them I mean? You do know he hasn't been charged let alone convicted right?

Zahid Ul-Hassan
allegedly raping a woman while she sleeps isn't a real crime?

George Galloway
what Assange is actually alleged to have done isn't even a crime in the UK. A mere fact I know...

George Galloway
rapist? He hasn't even been charged. He's not accused of rape. What's alleged isn't even a minor misdemeanour in the Uk.

Former Monty Python star Terry Jones has also taken to Twitter to defend Assange.


Terry Jones
The Guardian says Julian Assange is accused of "serious sexual assaults". Not wearing a condom is not a crime in this country. Sweden it is.

A spokesman for Rape Crisis said: "It is clear from George Galloway's comments that his legal understanding of rape is factually incorrect.

"Having had consensual sex with someone once does not mean a woman has forever forfeited her right to withdraw or refuse her consent to further sex with that person.

"Sex without consent is rape. Mr. Galloway's description of sexual violence as 'really bad manners', as well as his apparent ignorance of the law, is offensive and deeply concerning."

Debate has raged over the past few days over whether the offences Assange is accused of would be a crime under English law.

Grace Fletcher-Hackwood, writing for The Huffington Post UK, said: "You can read a list of the accusations here, but to summarise: he's accused of holding a woman down in order to have sex with her, penetrating a woman in her sleep, and having sex without a condom against the woman's wishes.

"I know that doesn't in any way mean he did it, but suggestions that he's only wanted under a quirk of the Swedish legal system need to stop.

Besides which, 'sex without a condom' is hardly a trivial affair, as this account from the F-Word blog demonstrates. There's a massive difference between 'consenting to sex' and 'consenting to potential HIV and/or babies'."

The High Court named four offences for which Swedish prosecutors wish to question Julian Assange.

Unlawful coercion

ALLEGATION 1 Assange, by using violence. forced the injured party to endure his restricting her freedom of movement. The violence consisted in a firm hold of the injured party's arms and a forceful spreading of her legs whilst lying on top of her and with his body weight preventing her from moving or shifting.

Sexual molestation

ALLEGATION 2 Assange deliberately molested the injured party by acting in a manner designed to violate her sexual integrity. Assange, who was aware that it was the expressed wish of the injured party and a prerequisite of sexual intercourse that a condom be used, consummated unprotected sexual intercourse with her without her knowledge.

Sexual molestation

ALLEGATION 3 Assange deliberately molested the injured party by acting in a manner designed to violate her sexual integrity i.e. lying next to her and pressing his naked, erect penis to her body.

Rape

ALLEGATION 4 Assange deliberately consummated sexual intercourse with [a different woman] by improperly exploiting that she, due to sleep. was in a helpless state.

It is an aggravating circumstance that Assange. who was aware that it was the expressed wish of the injured party and a prerequisite of sexual intercourse that a condom be used. still consummated unprotected sexual intercourse with her. The sexual act was designed to violate the injured party's sexual integrity."

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