Vladimir Putin may have been unflatteringly characterized as ’Batman’ in WikiLeaks latest U.S. diplomatic cables leak, but that hasn’t stopped the Russian Prime Minister from rushing to Julian Assange’s defense.
Not only did Putin call the arrest of Assange “undemocratic,” but he also said that it showed the West was hypocritical in its criticism of Russia’s record on democracy. “Why was Mr. Assange hidden in jail? Is that democracy?” Putin asked in a press conference Thursday. When asked about leaked U.S. diplomatic cables which cast him as Russia’s “alpha-dog” ruler of a corrupt bureaucracy, Putin questioned whether the U.S. Foreign Service was a “crystal clean source of information.”
But the Russian Prime Minister wasn’t the only one world leader to question the WikiLeaks founders arrest. Brazilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva also expressed his dismay over the lack of outcry after authorities arrested the 39-year old Australian in Britain:”This WikiLeaks guy was arrested, and I’m not seeing any protest for freedom of expression. There is nothing, nothing for freedom of expression and against the imprisonment of this guy who was doing better work than many of the ambassadors.”
Julian Assange is now in a British jail fighting extradition to Sweden on charges of sexual assault against two women. WikiLeaks has promised the arrest will not halt the flow of secrets, with the latest revelations causing more embarrassment for Washington. (via AFP)