Julian Assange’s aggressive pursuit of full disclosure has made him a villain to some and hero to others. Now, the Sydney Peace Foundation says he’s an icon for peace. The controversial Wikileaks founder received a rare award from the foundation in London yesterday.
The award applauds Australian-born Assange’s "exceptional courage in pursuit of human rights," and places him among the ranks of only three other past recipients: Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, and Daisaku Ikeda. Alongside praise for the Wikileaks leader, speakers at the Sydney Peace Foundation event chastised the Australian government for encouraging the United States’ relentless pursuit of Assange and for "demonizing" one of its own citizens.
Assange might do well to enjoy the praise now. His future is anything but certain as those who see him in a far less favorable light are continuing the fight for his extradition to Sweden for alleged sex crimes.