Eric W. Dolan
Thursday, December 9, 2010
An unnamed Russian official said Wednesday that detained WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange should be awarded a Nobel prize.
“Non-governmental and governmental organizations should think of ways to help him,” a source in the Kremlin administration told RIA Novosti. “Perhaps he could be awarded a Nobel prize.”
The remarks by the Kremlin official come after Assange was arrested Tuesday morning by London Metropolitan police on a warrant out of Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning. He is accused of one count of unlawful coercion, two counts of sexual molestation, and one count of rape.
According to one report, his two female accusers wanted to have Assange tested for sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) after both had unprotected sex with him and did not originally intend to press charges.
Assange claims the charges against him are politically motivated.
Since releasing leaked US diplomatic cables, Assange has come under increasing pressure from governments across the globe, including the United States, which is currently investigating whether he can be prosecuted.
Frank La Rue, the United Nations representative for freedom of opinion and expression, said the United States has no grounds to prosecute Assange.
“In reference to what has been published in WikiLeaks I think there is no criminal responsibility for being the medium,” said Rue. “This is one of the big debates in internet and up to now the general doctrine is that there is no responsibility just to transfer information.”