WikiLeaks' Julian Assange 'Should Get Nobel Peace Prize,' Says Russia
HUFFINGTON POST, Dec 10, 2010
Despite being lambasted as "Batman and Robin" respectively, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and President Dmitry Medvedev have pledged support for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, and have gone as far as to suggest the beleaguered site's frontman be honored with a Nobel Peace Prize.
The Guardian quotes a Kremlin source as urging international non-governmental organizations to think seriously about "nominating Assange as a Nobel Prize laureate." Speaking in Brussels, where Medvedev was attending a Russia-EU summit, the source told Russian news agencies that "public and NGOs should think of how to help him."
Russia's premier also personally pledged his support for WikiLeaks, slamming Assange's arrest as "undemocratic," according to the AFP. "Why was Mr. Assange hidden in jail? Is that democracy?" Putin asked in a press conference after a briefing with his French counterpart Francois Fillon Thursday. When asked about leaked U.S. diplomatic cables which cast him as Russia's "alpha-dog" ruler of a corrupt bureaucracy, Putin questioned whether the U.S. Foreign Service was a "crystal clean source of information."
Putin and Medvedev aren't the only world leaders backing Assange. In Brazil, President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva reportedly expressed solidarity with the Australian activist, calling his arrest as a blow against "freedom of expression. "They have arrested him and I don't hear so much as a single protest for freedom of expression," he said.