Russian officials have spoken out on Britain’s arrest of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange on Thursday, expressing hopes that the whistleblower’s rights will be respected.MORE: https://www.themoscowtimes.com/2019/04/11/russian-officials-react-to-julian-assanges-arrest-2-a65194
Assange has been accused of collaborating with the Russian government, most notably to release emails that Russian hackers stole during the 2016 U.S. presidential election via the Wikileaks whistleblowing platform. Assange ran the platform from within the Ecuadorian Embassy in London for seven years to avoid Swedish rape charges.
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“We certainly hope that all of his rights will be respected," Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was quoted as saying by the state-run RIA Novosti news outlet.
Alexei Chepa, deputy chairman of the State Duma International Affairs Committee, also advocated for protecting Assange’s rights.
"We need to use all international opportunities to protect the person who tried to expose the truth and bring information to the public that some entities carefully concealed,” RIA quoted Chepa as saying.
“All countries and political organizations that are interested in the development of democracy should take part in deciding this man’s fate,” he added.
Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova condemned the arrest, writing “The hand of ‘democracy’ squeezes the throat of freedom” on her Facebook page.