Amid the continual speculation and debate over the likeliness and the appropriateness of Julian Assange being awarded the Nobel Prize, a member of the Parliament of Norway has revealed that he has nominated the Australian's whistleblower website WikiLeaks for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize.
It is always easier to support freedom of speech when the one who speaks agree with you politically. This is one of the tests on liberal and democratic values that governments tend to fail. For instance, western governments have a long history on tolerating oppressive regimes that are friendly-minded. Internet companies assist China in censoring search engines. And many countries respond to Wikileaks' obvious right to publish material that is of public interest, by seeking to shoot the messenger, Snorre Valen, a member of the Socialist Left party, begins his blog post, titled 'Why I nominated WikiLeaks for the Nobel Peace Prize'.
Norwegian parliamentarian asserts that publishing material that is deemed classified by the government is an obvious right that newspapers and media have and that internet doesn't change this practice that has been around for decades.
Attacking the antagonists of WikiLeaks and Assange, Valen draws attention to how political powers and institutions that ordinarily protect freedom of speech have now launched a campaign to warn against the danger, the threat to security, yes even the terrorism that Wikileaks represent.
Furthermore, asserting that under no circumstances should the politicians regulate the media, the parliamentarian opines that the WikiLeaks nomination is bolstered by the role played by the website in bringing down the system that was in place in Tunisia and resulting in the Tunisian 'Jasmine' Revolution.
Liu Xiabao was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize last year for his struggle for human rights, democracy and freedom of speech in China. Likewise: Wikileaks have contributed to the struggle for those very values globally, by exposing (among many other things) corruption, war crimes and torture - some times even conducted by allies of Norway. And most recently: By disclosing the economic arrangements by the presidential family in Tunisia, Wikileaks have made a small contribution to bringing down a 24-year-lasting dictatorship, he elucidates in the blog giving reasons for his nomination.
The recent Tunisian Revolution sparked off anti-government protests all over the Arab world. The turmoil in Egypt continues to escalate as protesters against the regime of President Hosni Mubarak now clash with the leader's supporters. Protests seeking ouster of President Ali Abdullah Saleh continue in Yemen. The uprising is reverberating through Jordan, Syria and even Saudi Arabia.
WikiLeaks as well as Julian Assange enjoy support from leaders to laymen across the world. In December 2010, Russia called for Nobel for Julian Assange. While there are several internet forums on which people voice their support for the hacker and his whistleblower website, some of the comments under the MP's blog post are enough to indicate the kind of support Assange enjoys from citizens of the world.
Hartmann from Florida commented, While Wikileaks complicates diplomacy a little and could improve on protecting the names of the few innocents involved, the bigger good that Wikileaks does is far greater than its negatives. Someone needs to watch our governments. When left alone some governments do nasty things. Through Wikileaks we have learned about the so many bad things governments do in many countries, we even learned a few good things that our diplomats do.
Another reader commented supporting Bradley Manning, the man considered to be the source of the 'Cablegate'. While I support this, Bradley Manning should not be forgotten. He deserves the Nobel Peace Prize as well. He is detained and treated in a way which many people (including myself) regard as a torture. Without him and other unnamed whistle-blowers, WikiLeaks wouldn't be there where it is, said Klaus Malorny.
However, there does exist a large fraction that sees Assange as a villain rather than a hero.
To claim that his actions have in some way promoted 'fraternity among nations,' to invoke the famous line in Alfred Nobel's will, would be far-fetched, if not altogether inaccurate, US journalist and Nobel Peace Prize specialist Scott
London was quoted as saying in an international news agency report recently.
Alfred Nobel's vision of the Nobel Peace Prize was that it should to be awarded to the person who shall 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.
Nominations for this year's Nobel Prize was closed on February 1. However, reports suggest that five panel members may make their proposals until the end of the month when their first meeting is scheduled to take place on February 28.
Members of parliaments worldwide, previous winners, noted academicians and professors as well as members of several international institutes are eligible to submit nominations.
The Nobel winners across various categories will be announced in October.