IN the estimation of the Sydney Peace Foundation, Australian Wikileaks founder Julian Assange stands alongside the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela.
As he outrages and embarrasses world leaders by leaking secret US diplomatic cables - and continues to face down allegations of sex offences - Mr Assange has been chosen by the foundation to receive a rare gold medal for peace with justice.
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 said today 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 told AAP.
keyboard shortcuts: V vote up article J next comment K previous comment