Petition Urges Nobel Peace Prize for Manning
Oslo - Private Bradley Manning, the US intelligence analyst behind the largest single leak of secret documents in American history, would be a worthy winner of the Nobel Peace Prize, according to a petition presented Monday in the Norwegian capital Oslo.
Norman Solomon of US activist group RootsAction handed over a list signed by over 100,000 people, mainly from the United States, who claim that Manning helped shorten the Iraq war by leaking secret documents to WikiLeaks, Norwegian public broadcaster NRK reported.
Some signatories added comments explaining why Manning deserved the award, including a Czech national who wrote: "I know you can't really do this because of (the) USA, but still. He deserves it more than (US President) Barack Obama did."
Obama was a surprise winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009.
Manning faces 90 years in prison. A court martial is ongoing at Fort Meade, Maryland.
The petition was presented to the Norwegian Nobel Institute, which helps the Nobel Committee vet candidates for the coveted award.
Asle Toje, head of research at the institute, said it was not the first time a petition had been presented in support of a candidate and that the five-member committee was not swayed by such initiatives.
"This is not a popularity contest," Asle told news agency NTB.
The Nobel Committee has received a record 259 nominations for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize, including Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai who was shot by the Taliban in October for advocating education for girls.
The previous record was 241 nominations in 2011.
The name of this year's winner is due to be announced October 11.
|Pfc. Bradley Manning WikiLeaks Crime in the Military Military Justice|