Each year, the Norweigan Nobel Committee sends out thousands of letters to university professors, international institutes, past laureates, and governments worldwide to propose candidates for the prize. This year’s deadline was Feb 1., but the five member committee added its own suggestions at a meeting Friday, according to the Washington Post.
The Nobel Institute keeps the names of nominees secret for 50 years, but those who are entitled to nominate are allowed to reveal the name of the person or organization they have proposed.
This year’s nominations also included Russian human rights activist Svetlana Gannushkina, former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko. Perhaps the most surprising nomination was Bradley Manning who was arrested in May 2010 after allegedly leaking more than 250,000 U.S. diplomatic cables, 400,000 U.S. Army reports about Iraq and another 90,000 about Afghanistan — the biggest leak of classified documents in U.S. history.
Manning was in solitary confinement for nine months before formal charges were brought against him last week. He faces 22 charges in sum, including “aiding the enemy,” a crime punishable by death.
Ironically, the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded to those who have “done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”
The Nobel Peace Prize is one of five prizes created by Swedish industrialist and inventor Alfred Nobel and first awarded in 1901. Chemistry, Physics, Medicine, and Literature round out the Nobel Prizes.
Last year the prize went to Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, Liberian activist Leymah Gbowee and Yemeni “Arab Spring” activist Tawakkol Karman.