John Lennon - Yoko Ono Honours Julian Assange With Courage Prize
John Lennon's widow Yoko Ono showed her support for Julian Assange on Sunday night (03Feb13) by honouring the WikiLeaks founder with a special award.
Ono announced during her Courage Awards for the Arts ceremony in New York that the embattled editor was the recipient of the top accolade in recognition of his "courageous" work.
Assange accepted the award in absentia as he is currently residing in the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he is fighting his extradition to Sweden on sex assault charges.
Ono urged the audience to support Assange and his whistleblowing website, which hit headlines across the globe for leaking top secret and classified documents from military and international government sources.
She declared, "Our public officials have forgotten that they are ultimately accountable to the people who put them in office; that the information they keep in secrecy belongs to all of us.
"Julian Assange took a courageous step by rightfully returning what belongs to the public domain. For that reason, I believe we need to stand behind him."
Ono launched the prizegiving in 2009 to recognise artists who demonstrated courage in their work, despite pressure to succumb to commercial and political constraints.