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The Nobel Peace Prize jury has received 231 nominations for this year’s award, and the nominees are a mixture of old and new names, a spokesman for the Norwegian Nobel Committee told the AP.The secretive committee doesn’t reveal who has been nominated until 50 years later, their website states. The only way anyone outside the process can find out the names of nominees is if those with the right to nominate announce their picks.
So far the nominees released this year include politicians, ordinary women, a musical choir, and an 83 year-old professor, among others.
Submissions of nominations come every year from lawmakers, university professors, certain organisations, and past winners. The deadline for sending in names is February 1 each year, although the prizes are awarded in October. Each prize comes with a purse of 10 million Swedish kronor ($1.5 million).
The winner is picked not by popular vote, but by a five-member panel appointed by the Norwegian parliament, who can add their own candidates’ names to the hat.
According to a letter to the Nobel committee from those who nominated him, Manning has helped expose 'a long history of corruption, war crimes, and imperialism by the United States government in international dealings,' fueling popular uprisings the world over, especially the Arab Spring, as well as contributing to U.S. troop withdrawal from Iraq.
Vanunu, a former Israeli nuclear technician, revealed the details of Israel's nuclear program, a ''secret cooperation' between Israel and western countries' to the British press in 1986, claiming he wanted to prevent a 'nuclear holocaust,' he told the BBC in an interview.
He was consequently kidnapped by Mossad agents, tried and sentenced to 18 years in prison. Even after his release, he has been arrested several times (most recently in 2010) for violating restrictions placed on him, including giving interviews to foreign journalists and attempting to leave Israel.
Yulia Tymoshenko became prime minister of Ukraine after rising as a hero of Ukraine's so-called 'Orange Revolution,' which peacefully removed a pro-Russian regime in 2004. Since then, despite being in and out of power, she has done much to make Ukraine more democratic and keep it out of the clutches of Russia, The New York Times reports.
The Ukrainian World Congress, which supports her nomination, also emphasised her 'steadfast contribution to Ukraine's democratization... her continued efforts to promote Ukraine's integration into Europe and her great courage in the face of political persecution.'
The recipient of multiple international awards and only the second person to be named an honorary 'Citizen of Europe,' according to the BBC, the erstwhile Chancellor of the former West Germany is credited as being one of the principal architects of the reunification of Germany (and the end of the Cold War), as well as the Maastricht Treaty, the beginning of European integration.
Zelter has been an advocate of global nuclear disarmament for at least the last 12 years. She has employed every trick in the book, from 'peace groups, demonstrations, vigils, street theatre, to non-violent civil disobedience, imprisonment for non-violent protests...' according to her nominator.
Zelter is currently involved in a protest in South Korea, and came into the media spotlight in 1996 after being acquitted of causing millions of pounds worth of damage to a military aircraft, and damaging nuclear equipment on a research barge in Scotland in 1999.
Called 'Pakistan's answer to Mother Teresa' by the BBC, the Edhi Foundation runs the largest social welfare network in the country, including perhaps the largest fleet of ambulances, and a centre to care for drug addicts, the mentally ill, and even abused animals, funded entirely by voluntary donations.
He has already received the Lenin Peace Prize, the Balzan Prize and the Magsaysay Award from Public Service.
A one-time ally of both former presidents (Askar Akayev and Kurmanbek Bakiyev), Otunbayeva broke with both of them to join Opposition forces, according to the BBC. She formed an interim government after the fall of Bakiyev, and helped create a vibrant parliamentary system in the June 2010 referendum on a new constitution. After national elections last year, she was responsible for the first peaceful and constitutional transfer of power between presidents in Central Asia.
She has long championed judicial reform and made attempts to diminish ethnic tensions, Robert O. Blake, Jr., Assistant Secretary of the Bureau of South and Central Asian Affairs of the U.S. State Department said in a speech.
The group was formed in 2003 by women protesting the allegedly unjust incarceration of their loved ones. The ladies dress in white every Sunday and walk down the streets of Havana in silence, carrying photos of their imprisoned relatives. They received the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought from the European Parliament in 2005.
Numerous activists have been arrested by the Castro regime over the years, in crackdowns criticised by human rights groups and politicians the world over.
Gannushkina has been working for human rights in Russia since the 1980s. She was one of the founding members of the Memorial human rights centre in 1989 that continues to help those displaced in the Soviet area. Gannushkina's most noteworthy work has been during the conflicts in Chechnya in 1994-1996 and 1999-2007.
She has received the UNHCR Nansen Award for Refugees, and is a member of the Council for the Development of Civil Society Institutions and Human Rights under the President of Russia.
Oswaldo Payá and Yoani Sánchez have long fought for freedom of expression for the people of Cuba. Sanchez blogs about life in Cuba on Generación Y, and asks why it is not what was promised to her generation. The authorities have tried to block access to the blog, which has wide viewership despite low internet penetration in Cuba, but Sanchez has kept going.
Payá has championed peaceful resistance and dialogue against the dictatorial regime. From 1996 he has led the work on petitions in support of fundamental human rights. In January 2010, Payá invited all Cubans to join the All Cubans Forum to present proposals for a peaceful change towards democracy.
The Antakya Civilizations Choral Society is a Turkish choir comprising Alevis, Sunnis, Jews, Catholics, and even ethnic Armenians, among others, Today's Zaman reports. The group, formed in 2007, says it wishes to show the world that different people can come together and to live in peace and serenity. They say their greatest wish is to see the peoples of Israel and Palestine living together in peace.
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