Australia’s Prime Minister Julia Gillard might be willing to see Julian Assange end up in a foreign jail but Norwegian lawmaker Snorre Vale thinks he deserves the Nobel Peace Prize. The socialist MP explains on his blog why he has nominated the Wikileaks founder for the honour.

Liu Xiabao was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year for his struggle for human rights, democracy and freedom of speech in China. Likewise: Wikileaks have contributed to the struggle for those very values globally, by exposing (among many other things) corruption, war crimes and torture – some times even conducted by allies of Norway. And most recently: By disclosing the economic arrangements by the presidential family in Tunisia, Wikileaks have made a small contribution to bringing down a 24-year-lasting dictatorship.

It would be a crime to ban or oppose the right to publish such information. It should instead be protected, regardless of what we might think of the contents of some (or even all) of the published material. I am proud to nominate Wikileaks for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Meanwhile back in Australia the Sydney Peace Foundation has reportedly chosen Mr Assange  to receive its gold medal for peace with justice.

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The honour, previously given only to the Dalai Lama, Nelson Mandela and Japanese lay Buddhist leader Daisaku Ikeda in the foundation’s 14-year history, has been bestowed for Mr Assange’s “exceptional courage and initiative in pursuit of human rights”.

Foundation director Stuart Rees told AAP the Australian’s work had challenged the old order of power in politics and journalism. “Peace from our point of view is really about justice, fairness and the attainment of human rights,” Professor Rees said.

Earlier this week PM Gillard said she could understand the whistle blowing that put Watergate into the public eye but WikiLeaks was something else.

“It’s not about making a moral case, it’s really about all of this information and just putting it up there and whatever happens happens. It’s an irresponsible thing to do.”