A Swedish sociology professor named Stefan Svallfors has nominated NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden for a Nobel Peace Prize.
In a letter to the Norwegian Nobel Committee that was also published in Swedish newspaper Västerbottens-Kuriren, Svallfors said that Snowden had “helped to make the world a little bit better and safer.”
Here’s the nomination letter, as translated by the Daily Mail:
Best committee members!
I suggest that the 2013 Peace Prize awarded to the American citizen Edward Snowden.
Edward Snowden has – in a heroic effort at great personal cost – revealed the existence and extent of the surveillance, the U.S. government devotes electronic communications worldwide. By putting light on this monitoring program – conducted in contravention of national laws and international agreements – Edward Snowden has helped to make the world a little bit better and safer.
Through his personal efforts, he has also shown that 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. Despite this, it is very rare that individual citizens having the insight of their personal responsibility and courage Edward Snowden shown in his revelation of the American surveillance program. For this reason, he is a highly affordable candidate.
The decision to award the 2013 prize to Edward Snowden would – in addition to being well justified in itself – also help to save the Nobel Peace Prize from the disrepute that incurred by the hasty and ill-conceived decision to award U.S. President Barack Obama 2009 award. It would show its willingness to stand up in defence of civil liberties and human rights, even when such a defence be viewed with disfavour by the world’s dominant military power.
Professor of Sociology at Umeå University
As Svallfors is a professor at Umeå University, he is entitled to nominate candidates for the prize. However, as Tal Kopahn at Politico notes, it is unclear if Snowden could be considered for the 2013 prize.
Nominations are supposed to be postmarked February 1 to be included, though the Nobel Peace Prize website says the committee may sometimes add nominations to the list if the shortlist has not yet been finalised.
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