WikiLeaks, and founder Julian Assange, have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in light of its role in promoting transparency.
Or at least that is how the politician who nominated the controversial whistleblowing group sees it. ‘Wikileaks have (sic) contributed to […] exposing (among many other things) corruption, war crimes and torture – some times even conducted by allies of Norway,’ Norwegian Socialist Left Party politician Snorre Valen writes on his blog.
Last year it was Liu Xiaobo who won the Peace Prize, following a long, non-violent struggle for human rights in China. Former winners include Nelson Mandela, Kofi Annan and Doctors Without Borders.
Nominees, however, are not necessarily of the same calibre. George Bush and Tony Blair were jointly nominated for the prize in 2002, and again in 2004, for their role in the war in Iraq. A range of people, including members of national parliaments, can put forward nominations, meaning a conservative MP was able to suggest Bush and Blair.
WikiLeaks has released hundreds of thousands of confidential documents revealing details of war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the ongoing revelations of US diplomatic cables has made Mr Assange into a controversial figure. US government claims lives are being put at risk by WikiLeaks’ actions, however Mr Valen has another view: ‘By disclosing the economic arrangements by the presidential family in Tunisia, Wikileaks have (sic) made a small contribution to bringing down a 24-year-lasting dictatorship.’
Julian Assange already has one peace prize under his belt. Earlier today he was awarded a ‘gold medal for peace with justice’ by the Sydney Peace Foundation, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
Nobel Peace Prize nominations are kept secret for 50 years, unless the person nominating chooses to disclose it. This means we do not know who else is up for the award. Either way, we will find out how the Nobel Prize Committee feels about it come October, when the winner is announced.