WikiLeaks, ‘the Internet’ among record number of Nobel Peace Price nominees

By Reuters
Tuesday, March 1, 2011 15:48 EDT
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OSLO (Reuters) – Anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks, the Internet and a Russian human rights activist are among a record 241 nominations for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee said on Tuesday that the 2011 field includes 53 organizations and tops last year’s 237 nominees.

Known nominees also include Afghan rights advocate Sima Samar, the European Union, former German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya Sardinas, Russian rights group Memorial and its founder Svetlana Gannushkina.

“Looking at the long term, we can say interest in the prize is strong and growing along with the number of candidates,” Geir Lundestad, a non-voting member of the Nobel panel, told Reuters.

Members of all national parliaments, professors of law or political science and previous winners are among those allowed to make nominations. Some reveal their nominations publicly.

WikiLeaks grabbed the world’s attention and angered a number of governments by publishing thousands of secret U.S. diplomatic cables. Its controversial founder, Julian Assange, faces extradition from Britain to Sweden on sex crime allegations, which he denies.

Lundestad would not be drawn on how the popular uprisings sweeping North Africa and the Middle East could influence the discreet five-member Nobel panel.

Some pundits have said the Internet or social media such as Facebook and Twitter, which have been used to help organize dissent in countries with oppressive governments, could be rewarded.

Lundestad said those most active this year in making nominations were members of the Norwegian parliament and the U.S. Congress.

Under the leadership of former Prime Minister Thorbjoern Jagland, the Nobel panel has not shied away from bold decisions — first picking Barack Obama just months after he became U.S. president, and last year awarding the prize to jailed Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.

Jagland has promised to make the Nobel Peace Prize more relevant and more central to world affairs after an era in which laureates included a tree campaigner and a micro-loan pioneer.

The laureate or laureates will be announced in October. The prize, endowed by Swedish dynamite inventor Alfred Nobel, includes 10 million Swedish crowns ($1.58 million).

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  • I. M. Agoste

    This made my day. I hope WikiLeaks wins the Nobel.

  • Guest

    As I said in another post: Give ‘em Obama’s; he ain’t using it.
    This is WONDERFUL NEWS! Power to the People!…Wikileaks & Anonymous are fueling it!!!

  • Anonymous

    Know the truth, and the truth will set you free.
    GO WickiLeaks!!!

  • Anonymous

    I hope they get it… they won’t of course, because too many are afraid of the wrath of the US.

  • http://twitter.com/btmfdrsheaven rebecca meritt

    OMG, we’re gonna be like those other guys ,wanting to put NOBEL PRIZE winners in prison even if it’s just the founder.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_66CTHINTYLJ36RFRRWW5XUMWW4 shieldvulf

    It’s pretty irritating when some git chirps in a thread that “this isn’t news” just because the headline aligns with his assumptions about the world. Nevertheless, I have to say this isn’t news, and only because you could nominate me for the Nobel Peace Prize on the strength of this post. The bar is that low. I don’t think there is a bar. I don’t think nominations used to be reported at all. But the InterNets must have content! So here we are.

  • ghostof911

    Wonder what Thorbjoern Jagland had in his pipe when he made this decision.


  • Anonymous

    Congratulations!! You are my heroes! Well deserved! I love it when governments gets outed!!!!

  • https://twitter.com/#!/MiddleAmericaMS MiddleAmericaMS

    Its made my day too.

    Is it ok to say hope?


    Noble is… as Nobel does…..Proof again that decency….insight….leadership…honesty and worthiness can and do prevail in the world….over rampant evil.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_N6BJ56PKHQMYMIH3LYCOQC233I Sidd

    I hope WikiLeaks wins.

  • Anonymous

    “Truth is the enemy of all governments and all religions. Well, obviously.”

  • http://www.rawstory.com/ Doge of Yettis

    Anonymous…next in line…

  • P Matthews

    McLean, Virginia — The Nobel Peace Price Panel will never go against the clear will of American politicians. The Republicans here in the U.S. will do their utmost to damage Asange, and I feel confident the CIA will take him out. He will not live to see any kind of Peace Prize …

  • Anonymous

    They will have to create a special award for them when the full treasure trove of goodies they have is dumped exposing these covert crime committing bastards.

    I love the trickle effect with the ability to turn it into a Katrina whenever they’re ready.

  • Guest

    “Is it ok to say hope?”

    Yessir! And about damned time too, eh?

  • Anonymous

    Are you talking about a false flag attack?

  • http://twitter.com/honorablelordk Karim Walker

    I like WIkileaks’s chances, provided that the US State Dept. doesn’t pull some ish like the British government did in the 1940s (lobbying the selection committee to keep Mahatma Gandhi from winning).

  • Anonymous

    News from the future: