Nafissatou Diallo and Anna Ardin – Why Opposite BBC Policies? 284

The BBC repeatedly named Nafissatou Diallo, the alleged rape victim of Dominique Strauss Kahn, while the criminal investigation into the alleged rape was still in progress. Yet they have a policy that Anna Ardin, the accuser of Julian Assange, must not be named – or investigated.

Why the contradiction?

Nafissatou Diallo and Anna Ardin had both gone public and given statements to the media in support of their allegations.

From the New York Times, 25 August 2010:

Anna Ardin, 31, has told the Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet that the complaints were “not orchestrated by the Pentagon” but prompted by “a man who has a twisted attitude toward women and a problem taking no for an answer.”

There was no legal barrier to my mentioniong Anna Ardin last night; the case is no longer sub judice in the UK and there is no expectation of any legal proceedings here. Those are precisely the grounds on which the BBC mentioned Diallo very often. I did not see Oliver Kamm, Charles Crawford, Harry Cole, Charles Murray or any of the other far right commenters trolling about my “disgrace” last night, make a single protest at the naming of Diallo on scores of occasions by the BBC. Why their sudden new-found concern in the case of Assange?

Why the difference? Why is Ardin protected from scrutiny in the entire British mainstream media when Diallo was not, in precisely the same legal circumstances? Has Ardin been D-noticed in the UK when she is reported widely everywhere else in the world?

Anybody who still believes that the Assange allegations are a genuine criminal proceeding following due process, should think very hard indeed.

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284 thoughts on “Nafissatou Diallo and Anna Ardin – Why Opposite BBC Policies?

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  • Jon

    @Steve de Dalus – I’ve allowed your misogynistic rant out of the spam filter, but it’s such nonsense I expect you’re a plant. That sort of anti-women hatred has no place in debate like this, which needs to offer at least some balance to various sides.

  • Komodo

    @ Steve de Dalus (and Jon) PC it wasn’t. But due to expelling coffee violently through my nose one of you owes me a new keyboard.

  • Steve

    I agree with some of your post. The investigator has to make a judgement on if their is sufficient evidence to charge or we would be charging everyone with everything who is ever arrested. The arrest criteria is suspicion but police have to weigh up the evidence public interest and likelyhood of successful conviction before charging.
    The incidence of malicious sexual offence allegations are unfortunately high. This is not generally publicised as it causes an issue with women not reporting genuine rapes for fear of not being believed.
    Any investigator has a legal duty to investigate both sides of the allegation and the alibi. If we took your line why bother interviewing the suspect at all? Just charge him or her and let the judge decide.

  • Steve

    I can’t remember who in communist Russia said this but I don’t want to live where they would rather convict a 100 innocent men than let one guilty man go free.

  • Mark Golding - Children of Iraq Association

    Alan Campbell,

    Sorry, you are a long-standing commentator, yet some of your comments lack any credibility and some are grossly offensive.

    For the record paedophilia is a sexual attraction to children. Your excuse could be a confusion with paraphilia – an abnormal sexual attraction, but even the lesser is an absurd assumption.

  • Jon

    Mark, that Alan’s points are offensive are their sole purpose. My guess is he’s just an angry Bliarite who thinks New Labour’s shift to neoconservativism was wonderful, and is intent on sabotaging Craig who opposed it.

    Ignore him, I would.

  • Michael


    point taken (and the Soviet Russia quote is a good one!). To be fair to the Swedes though, they have said for ages that they haven’t charged Assange yet BECAUSE they want to do a second round of questioning. So you can’t really accuse them of just charging people at will – indeed, it may be that were he to go to Stockholm, they would drop the investigation right after the second round of questioning.

    Now I realize that many people said that the Swedish prosecutors should just travel to the UK to question him or question him by video link etc. And I guess many would indeed see that as an ‘elegant solution’. I do understand the Swedish point of view however for two reasons:

    1) Precedent. I know they have done it before. But if now, under huge public pressure and scrutiny, the Swedes agree to an interrogation on British soil or by videolink, then in the future every suspect who is abroad will demand that he is treated to the same courtesy. I.e. the Swedes will never anymore be able to get someone extradited for questioning, every suspect will say, “Well, you’ve got to visit me in [Insert some Caribbean island here] if you want to question me – you did it for Assange as well”.

    2) Principles: during a criminal investigation, a state attorney has certain powers. Depending on the exact criminal procedure code of the country, he may be able to compel you to produce documents or evidence, he may be able (under very limited circumstances, at least under most continental laws) to fine you if you are particularly obstructive, e.g. if you keep insulting everyone etc. I’m not saying that the Swedes plan to use any of these powers against Assange, but the point is, albeit in theory supposedly “masters of the investigation”, they become very powerless when on foreign soil or by videolink. In Sweden, they could formally compel him to attend an interrogation and decide on how long he has to stay for the interrogation(s). In a videolink situation, Assange could just close the connection and say “Right, that was 90 minutes, I think that’ll do” and they couldn’t really do anything about it. Would seem strange, wouldn’t it?

  • VivaEcuador

    Mary posted a link which in turn links to this article by Israel Shamir. It is well worth reading:

    With regard to the allegations against Assange, some people will say there is no smoke without a fire but in this case the smoke is a discarded smouldering fag-end. The Swedish justice system is in fact humiliating itself.

  • VivaEcuador


    We have to assume that the Swedish authorities want to resolve this case. Please look at my above post. Swedish justice is looking worse by the day so why not exercise their discretion to interview Assange overseas?

  • Komodo

    Michael: So why didn’t they question him during the month he was in Sweden*, offering to be questioned? As to principles, your Honour, may I submit the following?

    Article 9
    (1) Where a public authority other than a court has deprived a citizen of his liberty for committing a criminal offence or because he is suspected of having committed such an offence, he shall be entitled to have the matter tested before a court of law without undue delay……..


    Article 20
    (1) A foreigner within the Realm shall be equated with a Swedish citizen in respect of
    the right to have any deprivation of liberty on account of a criminal offence or on grounds of suspicion of having committed such an offence tested before a court of law (Article 9 (1) and (3)).

    *at the end of which he asked of the prosecutor, and obtained, permission to leave the country. The next day the prosecutor issued an EAW…

  • Nick

    The same NYT article you quote also said that at the time Mr Assange saw Sweden as a “refuge” from which to base his activities.

    “Mr. Assange said then that he regarded Sweden as the best refuge for him and WikiLeaks in the confrontation with the Pentagon and the White House over secret Afghan war documents that WikiLeaks posted on its Web site in late July, and thousands of others yet to be released.”

    If you’re going to waffle on with conspiracy theories, at least please be consistent

  • Bonito

    Completely agree with your point Craig. Why is it fine to name an alleged rape victim and not the other. Is because Diallo is an immigrant from a poor African country without a voice? The hypocrisy makes ones stomach turn!!!

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