About men accused of rape in Sweden

On May 25, 2010 an article written by Rattssakerhetsorganisationen,(The Rights Organization, RO) was published on dagensjuridik.se a website and magazine for legal professionals in Sweden. The article is relevant to the Assange case and explains why I and many other bloggers and new media writers have been questioning the motives of Ardin and Wilen, I have translated the article into English:

It is time to look into closed rape cases

Lately we have read several headlines about girls who have evidently lied in court about being raped. The accused is in most cases familiar with the girl and the news articles reveal that they have or had a relationship that went wrong. She is mad and wants revenge.  

Last Friday it happened again. The newspaper Nerikes Allehanda reports about a case in Örebro where a fifteen-year-old girl wanted to punish a boy out of jealousy by accusing him of rape. The lie was exposed by one of the witnesses, a witnesses used by the prosecutor as evidence - a friend of the girl who initially was supposed to support the allegation, but who during the investigation felt sympathy for the accused and told the court she knew that the rape allegation was really a false accusation.

The accused boy tells the court that he currently gets help from a phyciatrist to get over the rape allegations and feels exposed and smeared by the people living in his village. The boy does not want to live there anylonger. Still, he is lucky as he escaped a long time in prison.    

We at RO often get calls from devastated and exhausted men and their relatives with similar stories. Men are being arrested, detained and sentenced based on very weak evidence. Men who never have had any problems with the law, mental problems, been violent or in any other way been a burden to their family or to the society. The evidence presented against them is often a friend or do not even exist. If these men are sentenced without them pleading guilty, they contact us from the prisons, send us their verdicts, want us to look into the investigations and hope that someone can help them to get justice.

Media is normally the last instance for many men looking for help. The men think that the journalists will understand. By reviewing the verdicst and investigations they hope that others will find the objective evidence that speak for his innocence. However, few if any news desks chose or dare to look into cases where men have been indicted despite them pleading not guilty, despite the many cases of weak or even contradictory evidence. In the cases though, where the court has decided that the accusation was false, then media will report about it, like in the Örebro case.

We can, however, by reviewing quite a few investigations, find objective, controllable, facts, that undeniably speak for the accused's innoncence. The review finds, not seldom, errors in the accusor's story. If these errors are being brought in front of the court, they are often explained by the motivation that the court feels sympathy for these incomplete stories - incompletions that can actually free the accused if they had been more thorougly investigated. If the story is weak it is often explained with the accusor being in schock and cannot rememeber. If the story is extremely detailed it is often explained with the accusor's memory during a traumatic incident is never wrong.

Eventhough social media, such as blogs, have had an effect on the general legal consciousness, in what we think is a positive direction, the greater part of the general public is still unaware of how many questionable convictions there are in Sweden. Many only follow mainstream media and does not read blogs, Twitter or Newsmill. The citizens think that thousands of rapists walk free in Sweden and few other explanations are allowed into mainstream media.

Mainstream media are happy to share statistics. Including the non-reported rapes, media report that there are more than 20 000 rape cases per year. Only 10% of them will be charged. With those not so attractive numbers, Sweden is an international leader when it comes to reported rapes. This is obviously not a good thing, neither for us that work with legal security questions, nor for the accused or victims of crime. Why are so few rape cases prosecuted? We do not know. Neither do media - they are free to speculate, as it is impossible to study closed rape investigations - they become confidential if the case is closed.

We at RO want to see a development where closed cases are investigated considering the reasons, so that the questions about possible guilt or lies can be better answered. Today, the general public can only speculate, and do so, which affects the real victims and the accused. No one knows.

One of the many closed cases concerns a man who contacted us. He was arrested and detained immediately after a rape complaint was filed and held for five days eventough he pleaded not guilty of an alleged rape of a former colleague.
When the police that investigated the case, many weeks later, checked the accused's cell phone, they found text messages from the accusor that confirmed that she wanted to see him again, after they had had sex. The accused did not want to and the accusor got mad and felt abused. The case was closed as no crime could be proved. But the case is there, included in the statistics about the 20 000 rape cases in Sweden. The man never filed a complaint about false accusations, he was devastated by the accusations, he wanted to forget and go on with his life. As the woman never admitted she had lied, the prosecutor closed the case. Therefore the crime of false accusation can not be proven.

If prosecutors and the police, from the beginning make more objective and correct investigations, neither the boy in Örebro nor the man mentioned above would have had to go through the suffering they did. When we bring up these problems with investigators they often tell us that "no one would lie about such horrible accusations". When will the prosecutors and the police face the reality and realise that there are several factors behind a rape accusation such as anger, jealousy, revenge, attention or a wish to be seen. The investigators must boost their imagination.

Another problem is the attitude towards false accusations. The crime can give up to two years in prison, but the convictions are few. The girl in Örebro, who is one of the few that has been punished, didn't even think her false accusation was a crime. This shows a huge lack of empathy, whick is not unusual according to the men that contacts us. We ask ourselves how so many people feel that it is ok to accuse your ex-boyfriend, fathers, step-fathers and friends for a heinious crime if it is not true. We welcome a phsycological study into this. Those who are the victims of liars are the raped. The victim is the innocent man. RO thinks that it is possible to protect the victim of a crime as well as the falsely accused if the mission is to clarify what is what and it is performed by critical analysis.The goal for all of us should be equality before the law.  

Prejudice is a problem though. Our gender decides how we judge men and women's guilt and criminality. Last Friday, Angela S. Ahola, Doctor of  Phsycology at Stockholm University presented her dissertation on how women and men are treated by the legal system, how women's and men's stories are evaluated and that even the appearance affects on who is trusted. Ahola's dissertation confirms what we at RO have suspected for a long time - that women are being judged more kindly by the police and prosecutor. Women get a milder punishment for the same crime as men, and female witnesses are considered more reliable than male. We must get rid of these prejudices in order to claim that the Swedish justice guarantee equality before the law.

RO wants to see reviews of the rape cases that are based on facts not claims. The speculations most stop. The more innocent that are being mistreated the less we trust the legal system. We are convinced that there are many out there who have been abused by the legal system.

Rättssäkerhetsorganisationen RO, The Rights Organization

Johann Binninge
Monica Pernroth
Jenny Beltran
Susanne Flyborg



1 - see the english translation of
{ Link }
{ Link }

'Try Me for Rape Too, Marianne Ny!' 2011-01-09
Sweden's veteran news anchor Olle Andersson doesn't miss much in this attack on feminist Sweden.

to highlight one part that relates to the above:
Möller refers to a comprehensive Danish study that shows that 7.5% of rape charges in that country are false accusations and that the number of unreported cases is large. The motivation for bringing false accusations is above all that the women want to be noticed and verified by their environment but it's also about pure revenge. And in some of the cases the 'victim' is trying to squirm out of an embarrassing situation.

False accusations are a relatively small issue, says Preben Möller in Aftonposten. Until it happens to you. We don't know what the statistics are in Sweden because no one's doing any research in Sweden."

Also it is curious to see the new press release on Assange by Marianne Ny at
{ Link }
refers to SOU 2010:71

- English summary at:
{ Link }
Proposed amendments to the legislation on sexual crimes (27 October 2010)

(Marianne Ny is mentioned in the full report at
{ Link }

Why does she connect this to Assange?

Other related discussions are at:

2 - @anon. Thanks again for the links, interesting reading indeed. I did not like the Olle Andersson article that much though.

3 - Can you please give me some idea as to why Ms Ny connects Assange's Jan 11 hearing to
the SOU 2010:71 proposals??

{ Link }

I start to imagine it hints at some agenda she has to get her proposals passed, or else to pass them retrospectively??


I am not saying I endorse the attitudes or opinions etc. in that or any of the other links. Many have several aspects mixed up.
I thought the Danish study figure might help Assange's case, and I get some of the
intellectual absurdities of obligation to prosecute.

In Sweden there seem to be whole university groups studying violence aginst women - but no gender equality driven studies of false accusations ...

4 - @anon. Will check out the SOU you refer to tomorrow. Currently we have the ongoing drama of our neighbors, the Bellamy Brothers, accusing Britney Spears for stealing their lyrics, I cannot believe our little village of Darby would be in the center of such drama Emoticon

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