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Respect leader: “Galloway’s comments on rape are deeply disappointing and wrong”

Respect’s leader, Salma Yaqoob has made the following statement on her own website:

A heated controversy around Julian Assange … is conflating issues around freedom of speech with debates about what constitutes violence against women. Let me be clear, as a politician and as a woman. Rape occurs when a woman has not consented to sex. George Galloway’s comments on what constitutes rape are deeply disappointing and wrong.

There are many political issues entwined in the case of Julian Assange. These issues cannot be used to diminish in any way the seriousness of any allegations against him. Any individual accused of a crime, sexual or otherwise, is innocent until proven guilty. By the same token, any individual who believes themselves to be a victim has a right to have their grievances heard in a fair manner and not have their allegations belittled or dismissed. This is the cornerstone of justice.

This turn of events may well act to undermine Assange’s defence against those powerful forces keen to make an example of him for exposing the crimes of Empire. It has certainly taken the debate around violence against women a step backwards.

It is significant that Kate Hudson, Respect’s candidate in the Manchester Central by-election, later tweeted her support for Salma Yaqoob’s comments.

One Comment

  1. Mark Piper says:

    Just watched the video ant it’s atrocious, I am not sure what Galloway was playing at or who that segment was aimed at, but it managed to offend everyone. If that really is his position, I don’t see how he can represent anyone in Parliament.

    But looking at kate’s twitters (and it’s good to see someone with real left credentials standing in Manchester) I’d like to know why she tweeted the awful video in the first place. I’m hoping that Kate actually does support Salma’s statement and this isn’t political expediency.

    The Assange thing is a mess right now and people trying to excuse rape claims as CIA plots or impossible because they are ‘liberal’ women in a liberal country are pretty nasty. Claiming that anyone who doesn’t see that is an idiot didn’t help either.

    Respect need to get their stuff together for manchester.

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