Hazel Press

On 31 August 2015, Ann Linde, State Secretary for Home Affairs, announced on Twitter that "constructive negotiations started today with my State Secretary colleague from Ecuador on an agreement on mutual legal assistance". Since then, however, a question of partisanship has arisen in terms of how influential the UK and US could be on a process brought about by the diplomatic standoff over Julian Assange's asylum status. A series of tweets (see below) has revealed Linde's schedule to have included a curious number of senior figures from the UK / US security establishments. Whilst these meetings could be coincidence, an opportunity for Assange's political opponents to project their interests into the negotiations has arisen. Linde has also acted as a confidante to Robert Silverman, a diplomat at the US Embassy in Stockholm, Sweden.


Further, Secretary Linde's advocacy of a "feminist foreign policy" has brought her into contact with Anna Ardin, a feminist and one of the complainants in the Assange case. Ardin and Linde have served together at the 2008 Stockholm Pride's "We Are Family!" tents, have spoken at the 2008 Sweden-Asia Forum in Manila, Philippines, and Linde attended a 2009 book seminar organised by Ardin. It is therefore unlikely that Linde can be expected to conduct the negotiations in a truly impartial manner.

How impartial are the Sweden/ Ecuador Mutual Legal Assistance talks?

November 9, 2015

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