Agence France Presse reports:
Vladimir Putin on Thursday led a growing band of international leaders voicing support for WikiLeaks’ boss Julian Assange, describing his detention in Britain as “undemocratic”.
The Russian prime minister’s broadside came as hackers escalated their cyber war on opponents of the whistleblower website, setting their sights on Amazon.com.
“Why was Mr. Assange hidden in jail? Is that democracy? As we say in the village: the pot is calling the kettle black,” Putin said in response to a question on Russia’s undemocratic image in US embassy cables leaked by the website.
His comments echoed Brazil’s President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, who expressed “solidarity” with Assange, blasting the Australian activist’s arrest as a blow against “freedom of expression.”
Assange has “exposed a diplomacy that had appeared unreachable,” said Lula, who criticized the failure of other governments to challenge Assange’s detention.
“They have arrested him and I don’t hear so much as a single protest for freedom of expression,” he said.
The Guardian adds:
Russia has suggested that Julian Assange should be awarded the Nobel peace prize, in an unexpected show of support from Moscow for the jailed WikiLeaks founder.
In what appears to be a calculated dig at the US, the Kremlin urged non-governmental organisations to think seriously about “nominating Assange as a Nobel Prize laureate”.
“Public and non-governmental organisations should think of how to help him,” the source from inside president Dmitry Medvedev’s office told Russian news agencies. Speaking in Brussels, where Medvedev was attending a Russia-EU summit yesterday , the source went on: “Maybe, nominate him as a Nobel Prize laureate.”