Edward Snowden nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

The nomination is a response to "hasty and ill-conceived decision" to give Barack Obama the prize in 2009

By Alex Halperin

Published July 15, 2013 7:59PM (EDT)


A Swedish professor has nominated Edward Snowden for the Nobel Peace Prize. Russia Today explains:

In his letter addressed to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Stefan Svallfors praised Snowden for his“heroic effort at great personal cost.” He stated that by revealing the existence and the scale of the US surveillance programs, Snowden showed “individuals can stand up for fundamental rights and freedoms.”

“This example is important because since the Nuremberg trials in 1945 has been clear that the slogan ‘I was just following orders’ is never claimed as an excuse for acts contrary to human rights and freedoms,” Professor Svallfors wrote.

He emphasized that the decision to award the 2013 prize to Edward Snowden would also “help to save the Nobel Peace Prize from the disrepute incurred by the hasty and ill-conceived decision to award US President Barack Obama 2009 award.”

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The article quotes the head of the International Committee of the Russian State, Duma Aleksey Pushkov, who says that the U.S. would not allow the prize to go to Snowden.

"Not in a million years will the United States allow Snowden to get the Peace Prize. But his nomination is significant. Many in the West see him as a champion of democracy," he tweeted on Monday.

That statement comes with a whiff of conspiracy since it is a group of Norwegian university professors who select the winner. In a bit of diplomatic jujitsu WikiLeaks suggested that no matter who selects the prize it was a matter of little consequence.

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WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and Bradley Manning, the American soldier on trial for leaking to WikiLeaks, have also been nominated for the prize, the WikiLeaks feed noted. Among other reasons, Snowden is unlikely to win the prize because the nominations are due in February.


Alex Halperin

Alex Halperin is news editor at Salon. You can follow him on Twitter @alexhalperin.

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Barack Obama Edward Snowden Nobel Peace Prize Nobel Prize Norway Russia Sweden