Home WikiLeaks Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

WikiLeaks Nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

WikiLeaks has been nominated for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, according to the Norwegian politician behind the proposal.

The nomination of WikiLeaks was put forward by parliamentarian Snorre Valen, saying that the site was “one of the most important contributors to freedom of speech and transparency.”

“By disclosing information about corruption, human rights abuses and war crimes, WikiLeaks is a natural contender for the Nobel Peace Prize,” Valen said.

That statement, of course, contradicts the narrative that the U.S. government has been promoting – that WikiLeaks is a threat to international peace and security. And a nod from the Nobel Committee, if it does choose to honor WikiLeaks with the Peace Prize, would not only enflame Washington but would likely serve as the latest in a series of controversial awards, having given President Obama the Peace Prize in 2009 shortly after his inauguration and jailed Chinese pro-democracy activist Liu Xiaobo the award last year.

Expanding the Definitions for Peace Prize Nominees

According to Alfred Nobel, who established the prize in his will, the award should go to “the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”

The nomination of WikiLeaks is a nod to the expanding definition of what constitutes “peace” for the Prize Committee. It’s clearly not just the absence of war, but a more complicated definition that includes human rights activism, for example.

But it’s also notable that it isn’t Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, who has been nominated, but rather the site itself. That’s an indication not just of the importance of the whistleblower website itself, but also of the role of the Internet in social change and social justice movements – as tools for communication, collaboration, and mobilization.

The Nobel Committee accepts nominations from members of all national parliaments, professors of law or political science, and previous winners. It declined to comment on the WikiLeaks nomination or on any of the other proposals it received.

The 2011 Nobel Peace Prize winner will be announced in October.

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