stephen at melbpc.org.au
stephen at melbpc.org.au
Thu Feb 3 07:47:34 AEDT 2011
Assange joins the peace gang
by Damien Murphy and Ellie Harvey, Feb 3rd 2011, http://www.smh.com.au
The Sydney Peace Foundation has put the WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange
up alongside the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela.
The University of Sydney not-for-profit-organisation has awarded Assange
its gold medal for peace and justice - distinct from the annual Sydney
Peace Prize - citing his "exceptional courage and initiative in pursuit
of human rights".
The foundation's director, Stuart Rees, said Assange's work challenged
the old order of power in politics and journalism.
"Peace from our point of view is really about justice, fairness and the
attainment of human rights," he said.
The award will presented in Sydney in mid-May or at a ceremony in London
later in the year ..
WikiLeaks among nominees for Nobel Peace Prize
By Wojciech Moskwa (OSLO) Wed Feb 2, 2011 http://www.reuters.com
OSLO (Reuters) - Anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks has been nominated for
the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize, the Norwegian politician behind the proposal
said on Wednesday.
The Norwegian Nobel Committee accepts nominations until February 1st for
what many consider as the world's top accolade, although the five panel
members have until the end of the month to make their own proposals.
Norwegian parliamentarian Snorre Valen said WikiLeaks was "one of the
most important contributors to freedom of speech and transparency" in the
"By disclosing information about corruption, human rights abuses and war
crimes, WikiLeaks is a natural contender for the Nobel Peace Prize,"
Members of all national parliaments, professors of law or political
science and previous winners are among those allowed to make nominations.
The committee declined to comment on the WikiLeaks proposal or any other
Washington is furious at WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange for
releasing tens of thousands of secret documents and diplomatic cables
which it says have harmed U.S. interests abroad, including peace efforts.
Assange, An Australian, faces extradition to Sweden from Britain for
questioning in a sex case which he and his supporters say is a smear
campaign designed to close down WikiLeaks, a non-profit organization
funded by the public and rights groups.
Awarding WikiLeaks the prize would be likely to provoke criticism of the
Nobel Committee, which has courted controversy with its two most recent
choices, jailed Chinese pro-democracy activist Liu Xiaobo and President
Barack Obama a few months after his election.
NOBEL DEFINITION STRETCHED
The prize was endowed by Alfred Nobel, the Swedish inventor of dynamite,
who said in his will it was to be awarded to whoever "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
In past decades the committee, appointed by the Norwegian parliament, has
stretched Nobel's definition to include human rights, climate activism
and even micro-financing, which have been a source of criticism from
Nobel watchers say a prize for WikiLeaks would highlight the growing role
of specialist Internet sites and broad access social media in bringing
about world change.
Sites such as Twitter and YouTube have played important roles in
mobilizing people in countries with a tight grip on official media, such
as Egypt where mass anti-government protests have been taking place.
Kristian Berg Harpviken of the PRIO peace think tank in Oslo agreed that
innovative use of "new tools for bringing about peace" could be a major
theme in this year's Nobel, but he said he expected the prize to go to a
woman after a series of male recipients.
His strongest tip was the Russian human rights group Memorial and its
leader, Svetlana Gannushkina.
The nomination deadline may make it difficult for Middle East nominees
should mass protests there produce peace.
Egypt's Mohamed ElBaradei won the prize in 2005 as head of the
International Atomic Energy Agency, the U.N. nuclear watchdog. Although
theoretically possible, no individual has won the peace prize twice. The
Red Cross has won three times.
(Editing by Andrew Dobbie)
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