Russia jibes US by calling for Assange to be awarded Nobel peace prize

Moscow, Dec 10 (ANI): In an apparent dig at the US, Russia has suggested that Julian Assange, founder of the whistleblower website 'Wikileaks', should be nominated for the Nobel peace prize.

According to the Guardian, the Kremlin has urged non-governmental organisations to seriously think about "nominating Assange as a Nobel Prize laureate".

"Public and non-governmental organisations should think of how to help him. Maybe, nominate him as a Nobel Prize laureate," the paper quoted a source from inside President Dmitry Medvedev's office, as saying.

Assange's website had recently leaked 250,000 secret documents from the US military, and claims to be holding many more. He was arrested in Britain earlier this week on sexual assault charges.

The Kremlin's initial reaction to leaked stories that referred to Russia as a corrupt "mafia state" and kleptocracy was, predictably, negative. Last week Medvedev's spokesman called the revelations "not worthy of comment" while Putin raged that a US diplomatic cable comparing him to Batman and Medvedev to Robin was "arrogant" and "unethical", the paper said.

Meanwhile Dmitry Rogozin, Russia's ambassador to NATO, also voiced his support for the embattled Assange today. He tweeted that Assange's arrest on Monday at the City of Westminster magistrates' court demonstrated that there was "no media freedom" in the west.

Assange's "fate" amounted to "political persecution" and a lack of human rights, the ambassador added. (ANI)

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