'Russia: Julian Assange deserves a Nobel Prize'

As Wikileaks founder is jailed in solitary confinement, alleged rape victim moves to West Bank; Russian official expresses support for Assange.

311_Julian Assange (photo credit: Wikicommons)
311_Julian Assange
(photo credit: Wikicommons)
Sources in Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's office have suggested that Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, who is currently incarcerated in solitary confinement on rape charges, should win the Nobel peace prize, The Guardian reported on Thursday.
While Medvedev was in Brussels for a Russia-EU summit, the source told Russian news agencies that "public and non-governmental organizations should think of how to help [Assange]. Maybe nominate him as a Nobel Prize laureate."
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These statements differ from the Russian government's original reaction to diplomatic cables calling Russia a "mafia state" and comparing Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and Medvedev to Batman and Robin. Putin called the cables "arrogant" and "unethical." Medvedev said the leaks are "not worthy of comment," and Russian state television reportedly did not mention the accusations.
Also this week, Anna Ardin, one of the women who Assange allegedly raped, indefinitely postponed a planned move to the northern West Bank village of Yanoun, according to Palestinian news agency Ma'an.
In late November, Ardin wrote in her blog: "The tiny village of Yanoun has 1990 inhabitants, and one speaks English. And I'm very happy about it. 'Adrusu l'Arabiyya,' I am studying Arabic."
Ardin had been set to travel with the the World Council of Churches' Ecumenical Accompaniment Programme in Palestine and Israel, a Christian outreach group, which is meant to "supress violence and promote respect for international law through practical solidarity."
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On Thursday, The Guardian also reported that Assange was moved to solitary confinement in Wandsworth prison in the UK. Assange, an Australian citizen, was arrested and refused bail in England this week after Sweden sought his extradition for sexual assault.
Assange was reportedly segregated after other inmates showed interest in the high-profile prisoner, and will be given limited internet access.
His lawyer, Mark Stephens, told The Guardian that Assange "doesn't have access to a computer, even without an internet connection, or to writing material. He's got some files, but doesn't have any paper to write on and put them in."