Iceland's parliament building. Source: Wikipedia
On Saturday, Icelandic member of parliament Birgitta Jónsdóttir posted a nomination letter on her blog on behalf of the three-member parliamentary group The Movement, proposing suspected WikiLeaks source Bradley Manning as a candidate for the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize. Nobel Peace Prize nominations can be submitted by any member of a national assembly, among others.
The Icelandic parliamentarian has been a vocal supporter of WikiLeaks since it leaked the Collateral Murder video of a 2007 Baghdad strike by U.S. forces that killed at least a dozen unarmed civilians, including two Reuters reporters, which is widely believed to have been acquired and sent to WikiLeaks by Manning himself. In December 2010, the U.S. Department of Justice sent a subpoena request to Twitter for data pertaining to prominent WikiLeaks figures, including Bradley Manning, Julian Assange, and Birgitta Jónsdóttir.
Jónsdóttir has also been an advocate for making Iceland a haven of press freedom, and in 2010 spearheaded the Icelandic Modern Media Initiative, which combined, according to the New York Times, whistle-blower laws and rules about Internet providers from the United States; source protection laws from Belgium; freedom of information laws from Estonia and Scotland, among others; and New York State's law to counteract 'libel tourism,' the practice of suing in courts, like Britain's, where journalists have the hardest time prevailing.
The full text of the Manning nomination is reprinted below:
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We have the great honor of nominating Private First Class Bradley Manning for the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize. Manning is a soldier in the United States army who stands accused of releasing hundreds of thousands of documents to the whistleblower website WikiLeaks. The leaked documents pointed to a long history of corruption, war crimes, and imperialism by the United States government in international dealings. These revelations have fueled democratic uprising around the world, including a democratic revolution in Tunisia. According to journalists, his alleged actions helped motivate the democratic Arab Spring movements, shed light on secret corporate influence on our foreign policies, and most recently contributed to the Obama Administration agreeing to withdraw all U.S.troops from the occupation in Iraq.
Bradley Manning has been incarcerated for well over a year by the U.S. government without a trial. He spent over ten months of that time period in solitary confinement, conditions which experts worldwide have criticized as torturous. Juan Mendez, the United Nations' Special Rapporteur on Torture and Cruel, Inhuman and Degrading Treatment or Punishment, has repeatedly requested and been denied a private meeting with Manning to assess his conditions.
The documents made public by WikiLeaks should never have been kept from public scrutiny. The revelations - including video documentation of an incident in which American soldiers gunned down Reuters journalists in Iraq - have helped to fuel a worldwide discussion about America's overseas engagements, civilian casualties of war, imperialistic manipulations, and rules of engagement. Citizens worldwide owe a great debt to the WikiLeaks whistleblower for shedding light on these issues, and so I urge the Committee to award this prestigious prize to accused whistleblower Bradley Manning.
Members of the Icelandic Parliament for The Movement