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Julian Assange wins peace prize

A rare gold medal not awarded by the US State Department

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The Sydney Peace Foundation has awarded its gold medal for peace with justice to WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. In the fourteen-year history of the Foundation, only three others have received the prize: the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela, and Buddhist leader Daisaku Ikeda.

As reported by The Sydney Morning Herald, Assange received the award for his "exceptional courage and initiative in pursuit of human rights".

He didn't receive it, then, for royally pissing off the US government and derailing its diplomatic relationships across the globe.

"Peace from our point of view is really about justice, fairness, and the attainment of human rights," Foundation director Stuart Rees told The Herald. "Assange has championed people's right to know and has challenged the centuries-old tradition that governments are entitled to keep the public in a state of ignorance."

Well, if you wanna put it that way, he certainly deserves the thing. Of course, he also deserves The Register's first annual prize for shameless self-promotion and empty hype.

The Sydney Peace Foundation is a not-for-profit organization within the University of Sydney. Its gold medal is not to be confused with its annual Sydney Peace Prize, which is awarded separately. ®

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