WikiLeaks Assange Gets Human Rights Award

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[Global: Australia]

The Sydney Peace Foundation’s gold medal will be awarded today in London to WikiLeak's Julian Assange "for exceptional courage in pursuit of human rights," the foundation has announced.

The Sydney Peace Medal acknowledges Assange’s courage and determination to increase the capacity of citizens all over the world to engage with democratic principles, emphasizing that truth is integral in any quest for justice, the foundation said.

"This award is made in recognition of the need for greater transparency and accountability of governments," said the foundation in a release. Director of the Sydney Peace Foundation and founding Director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney, Professor Stuart Rees, added:

“By challenging centuries old practices of government secrecy and by championing people’s right to know, WikiLeaks and Julian Assange have created the potential for a new order in journalism and in the free flow of information.

“Instead of demonizing an Australian citizen who has broken no law, the Australian Government must stop shoring up Washington’s efforts to behave like a totalitarian state. The treatment of alleged whistleblower Bradley Manning confirms a US administration at odds with their commitment to universal human rights and intent on militaristic bullying.”

The award of the Sydney Peace Medal will be made by the highly respected veteran Australian broadcaster, member of the Australian Human Rights committee of inquiry, and former Chair of the Sydney Peace Foundation, Mary Kostakidis, the foundation said.

The Sydney Peace Foundation is supported by the City of Sydney.

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