The Nobel Prize committee has received a petition that endorses awarding the peace prize to US Army Private Bradley Manning, who is convicted of espionage and facing up to 90 years behind bars for leaking classified information to WikiLeaks.
US anti-war activist Normon Soloman, one of the organizers of the
petition, gave the 5,000-page document to Nobel committee member
Asle Toje on Monday.
However, Toje said the annually awarded US$1 million prize is
“not a popularity contest,” adding that such campaigns do
not influence the Nobel Committee in its choice.
“Remaining in prison and facing relentless prosecution by the
US government, no one is more in need of the Nobel Peace
Prize,” states the petition, which garnered more than 100,000
“No individual has done more to push back against what Martin
Luther King Jr. called ‘the madness of militarism’ than Bradley
Manning,” the petition reads.
US Army whistleblower Bradley Manning, 25, was found guilty on 20 of his 22 charges for sharing thousands
of classified US documents with the anti-secrecy website
WikiLeaks in late 2009 and early 2010. Among other charges, he
was found guilty of espionage, theft, and embezzlement of
According to Solomon, awarding the soldier the Nobel Prize would
underline the important role of whistleblowers in promoting peace
“Unless we can speak the truth, then peace-making becomes a
hollow exercise of rhetoric rather than reality,” Solomon
told reporters before submitting the petition.
Former Nobel Peace Prize winner Mairead Corrigan-Maguire formally
nominated Manning in June, saying, “I can think of no one more
She believes that his leaks “helped end the Iraq War” by
hastening foreign troop withdrawals and “may have helped
prevent further conflicts elsewhere.”
Solomon has also stated that Manning’s revelations on America’s
views of the Iraq War “stiffened the resolve of Iraq’s
government to seek jurisdiction over American troops for criminal
In his article published by USA Today on July 30, Solomon wrote
that “It’s easy to insist that Bradley Manning must face the
consequences of his actions. But we badly need whistleblowers
like Manning because US government leaders do not face the
consequences of their actions, including perpetual warfare abroad
and assaults on civil liberties at home. No government should
have the power to keep waging war while using secrecy to cloak
policies that cannot stand the light of day.”
The Nobel Peace Prize winner will be announced on October 11,
2013 in Oslo.
Republished from: RT