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Kazakh Journalists' Union Honors WikiLeaks Founder

The Union of Journalists in Kazakhstan (KZO) has awarded a top prize to Julian Assange, the founder of the controversial whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks, for his oustanding efforts in investigative journalism.

KZO Chairman Seyitqazy Mataev said on June 24 that the award was given to Assange because WikiLeaks had provided plenty of "interesting" material that was used by journalists in Kazakhstan.

Mataev said the award -- a trophy and an undisclosed amount of cash -- will be sent to Assange by mail.

Assange has been living at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London since June 19, 2012.

The Ecuadorian authorities have granted political asylum to the WikiLeaks founder, who is wanted in the United States for disclosing classified materials and in Sweden for questioning over alleged sexual offenses.

With reporting by Interfax
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