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Who will win the Nobel Peace Prize 2013?

October 10, 2013 11:07 IST

Who will win the Nobel Peace Prize 2013?

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Rediff Newsdesk

The Nobel Foundation has announced that it received 259 nominations for the Peace Prize this year, the highest ever. 50 of them are organizations, the Nobel Foundation said in a statement.

As per Alfred Nobel's will, the recipient is selected by the Norwegian Nobel Committee, a five-member committee appointed by the Parliament of Norway. Since 1990, the prize is awarded on December 10 in Oslo City Hall each year.

The list of contenders is largely based on media reports and speculation across the world as the Nobel Foundation has not revealed the final list in the last 50 years. The unofficial nominations are largely based on the expert predictions of the Peace Research Institute Oslo, an independent peace studies institution.

As the world waits with baited breath to know who will win the Nobel Peace Prize 2013 -- to be announced on Friday -- we take a look at some of the frontrunners in the race for the most prestigious honour:

Malala Yousafzai

Sixteen-year-old Pakistani female rights activist Malala Yousufzai, who survived an assassination attempt by the Taliban last year, is being talked about as the frontrunner candidate for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize, 2013. In case she wins, she will be the youngest recipient of the award.
Yousafzai was shot in the head in Pakistan’s Swat Valley in retaliation for her campaign for girls to be given equal rights to schooling, defying threats from Taliban militants in her hometown of Mingora.

“She now lives in the U.K. and has since gained global recognition for her promises to continue her struggle against illiteracy, poverty and terrorism,” Bloomberg reported.

Nobel Prize expert Kristian Berg Harpviken says that “prize to Malala would not only be timely and fitting with a line of awards to champions of human rights and democracy, but also set both children and education on the peace and conflict agenda”.

However, in an interview with a Pakistani radio station, Malala on Wednesday spoke of her desire to do more to promote education, saying she felt she had not yet earned the Nobel accolade.

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Image: Malala Yousafzai
Photographs: Adrees Latif/Reuters

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Edward Snowden

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Swedish sociology professor Steven Svallfors has nominated American whistleblower Edward Snowden for the Nobel Peace Prize.

In his nomination letter, Svallfors highlighted Snowden's "heroic effort at great presonal cost," and emphasised that the whistleblower's actions showed that "individuals can stand up for fundamental rights and freedoms." 

“Svallfor also argued that this nomination will help restore some of the Peace Prize's lost credibility after it prematurely awarded the Prize to Barack Obama in 2009,” Policymic reported.

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Vladimir Putin

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Russian President Vladimir Putin has also been nominated for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize by a Russian advocacy group for his key role in preventing a US missile strike on Syria and initiatives to dismantle Damascus’ chemical weapons, PTI reported.

The International Academy of Spiritual Unity and Cooperation Among the Nations of the World has nominated President Putin as a candidate for the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize, the report added.

However, many activists across the globe have criticized Putin’s nomination citing his government’s crackdown on Russian protestors opposed to rigging in the presidential polls.

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Photographs: Reuters

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Lyudmila Alexeyeva, Svetlana Gannushkina and Lilya Shibanova

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Despite the firm reactions of the Russian security apparatus and the slight slow-down in visible demonstrations against the Putin regime, the Russian protesters and dissidents continue their protest and fight for a state that is fair, democratic and in observance of civil rights.

“The formidable, female, three-generation trio consisting of Lyudmila Alexeyeva, Svetlana Gannushkina and Lilya Shibanova forms a good and deserving combination for a peace prize in acknowledgment of rights, democracy and reconciliation,” expert Harpviken points out.

Alexeyeva co-founded the Moscow Helsinki Group in 1976, and has been a staunch dissident and defender of human rights throughout her life and is still involved in organizing protests. Gannushkina is a founding member of the Russian organization Memorial, while Shibanova is the head of the only full scale government-independent election monitoring organization in Russia, Golos, founded in 2000.

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Image: Russian activists (from left) Lyudmila Alexeyeva, Svetlana Gannushkina and Lilya Shibanova


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Dr Denis Mukwege

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Congolese gynecologist Denis Mukwege, who founded the Panzi Hospital in Bukawu, specializes in the treatment of women who have been gang-raped by rebel forces.

“Apart from having treated thousands of women and being considered one of the globally leading experts on repairing the physical damage from rape and sexual violence, Mukwege is somewhat of a grassroots hero in DR Congo and one of the world's most visible advocates of combatting sexual violence,” Harpviken says.

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Photographs: Jana Asenbrennerova/Reuters

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Claudia Paz y Paz

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Guatemalan Attorney General Claudia Paz y Paz had been responsible for the trial against former president, General José Efraín Ríos Montt, the first time when a former head of state has been charged with genocide by national courts.

“The importance of transitional justice for war-torn societies to recover has been increasingly recognized over the past couple of decades, with special courts, various legal innovations, and a deep controversy over more reconciliatory avenues to reintegrate perpetrators in society. The Montt case, however, is important in that regular courts have formed the main platform for persecution in a high-profile case, with assistance from the UN-sponsored International Commission against Impunity in Guatemala,” Peace Research Institute Oslo said.

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Photographs: Jorge Dan Lopez/Reuters

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Chelsea (Bradley) Manning

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Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Bradley Manning, was a US military analyst who leaked the largest cache of government documents to Wikileaks in US history. Among the documents were disparaging documents on the war in Afghanistan. Manning was arrested and put on trial.

While he was acquitted of aiding the enemy, Manning was guilty of breaching the Espionage Act and was sentenced to confinement for 35 years.
Manning’s leak has been seen as a sacrifice for government transparency, Policymic reported.

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Photographs: Reuters

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Bill Clinton

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Former U.S. president Bill Clinton has worked toward peace in the Middle East during and after his tenure in the White House. He established the Clinton Global Initiative “to create and implement innovative solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges.”

The former president was also tipped to be one of the frontrunners for the accolade last year.

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Maggie Gobran

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Maggie Gobran, also known as the ‘Mother Teresa of Cairo’, is the founder and CEO of the non-profit charity Stephen's Children.

The charity, which offers education, recreation, medical services and more, is used as model for organisations in other countries.

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UNESCO

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The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, and its former director Federico Mayor, are also seen as potential nominations.
 
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Concerned for Working Children

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Bangalore-based non-profit organisation Concerned for Working Childrenis known internationally for its work in empowering children to become the key protagonists in solving their own problems. While eradication of child labour remains the key focus of CWC,the organisation opposes simple criminalisation and addresses related issues such as children's rights, gender equality, community development, education and advocacy.

The organisation has been nominated by three Norwegian MPs for the coveted prize this year. The CWC was also nominated last year.

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Image: Members of Bhima Sangha, the union of working children facilitated by CWC
Photographs: Courtesy: CWC website
Tags: CWC

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Other nominations

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Other notable nominations include Illinois Governor George Ryan for his opposition to death penalty, former Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti for his role in developing nuclear neutralizing weapon system, peace studies scholar Betty Reardon, Norwegian peace activist, journalist, politician and ambassador Gunnar Garbo, Uyghur rights activist Rebiya Kadeer, Cuban women’s opposition movement Ladies in White, Myanmar President Thein Sein and American professor of international law Richard A Falk, among others.


Image: Uighur leader Rebiya Kadeer delivers a speech in front of a East Turkestan flag, in Tokyo.
Photographs: Yuriko Nakao/Reuters

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