Whistleblower Snowden, Greek islanders tipped in Nobel prize race

US whistleblower Edward Snowden and Greek islanders who have helped migrants fleeing to Europe are among the speculated contenders for the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize, which formally nominates its candidates on Monday.

Snowden topped a shortlist compiled by Kristian Berg Harpviken, director of the Peace Research Institute Oslo that is not affiliated with the Nobel prize.

Harpviken cited Snowden's "role in alerting citizens across the globe about the extent – and the dangers – of electronic surveillance".

The Greek Academy of Sciences, meanwhile, proposed three people on behalf of the Greek islanders who have aided migrants in their trek to Europe across the Aegan.

Academy president Thanasis Valtinos in Athens named Greek volunteers Emilia Kamvysis and fisherman Stratis Valiamos, as well as Oscar-winning US actress Susan Sarandon, who raised awareness about the plight of migrants, as possible candidates for the prize.

An online petition in support of giving the peace prize to the Greek islanders has gathered more than 600,000 signatures.

Parliamentarians, academics, former peace laureates, as well as current and former members of the Nobel Committee are among those who have the right to make nominations.

Harpviken also tipped officials involved in the Iran nuclear deal reached last year, including US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, and Ali Akbar Salehi, head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization.

His shortlist also named Congolese physician Denis Mukwege, who has been nominated by Norwegian lawmaker Audun Lysbakken, head of the opposition Socialist Left Party.

Lysbakken and other members of his party said they also nominated Nadia Murad Basee, a 22-year-old Yezidi woman from Iraq who has testified before the UN Security Council on how she had been raped, tortured and sold into sexual slavery by the Islamic State extremist group, news agency NTB reported.

The five-member Nobel Committee advises those making nominations not to reveal their proposals, but there are no formal rules against doing so.

The tally for 2016 nominations is not expected until early March when the Nobel Committee has met and registered all the nominees.

The peace prize is one of several endowed by the Swedish industrialist and inventor of dynamite, Alfred Nobel. The winner is usually announced in October. 

Last year's winner was the National Dialogue Quartet of Tunisia, an alliance of trade unions, employers organizations, human rights groups and lawyers.

Last update: Mon, 01/02/2016 - 20:29
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