Snowden nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Summary:A former Norwegian minister has nominated fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden for the Nobel Peace Prize in a letter to the Norwegian Nobel Committee.

Former Norwegian Socialist Left Party minister Baard Vegar Solhjell and his party colleague Snorre Valen, have written to the Norwegian Nobel Committee and nominated Edward Snowden for the Nobel Peace Prize

"He has contributed to revealing the extreme level of surveillance by nations against other nations and of citizens," Solhjell said on Wednesday, explaining his move.

"Snowden contributed to people knowing about what has happened and spurring public debate" on trust in government, which he said was "a fundamental requirement for peace".

In a letter to the Norwegian Nobel Committee obtained by Agence France-Presse (AFP), Solhjell and Valen said they do not necessarily condone or support all of Snowden's disclosures, but praised him for revealing the "nature and technological prowess of modern surveillance".

"The level of sophistication and depth of surveillance that citizens all over the world are subject to have stunned us, and stirred debate," they wrote in the nomination letter.

They added that Snowden's actions have "led to the reintroduction of trust and transparency as a leading principle in global security policies".

US National Security Agency documents leaked by Snowden in 2013 revealed widespread surveillance of individuals and institutions in the US and around the world.

According to the whistleblowing website Wikileaks, Snowden, now living in Russia, had applied for asylum in several countries, including Norway.

Solhjell, who was environment minister until Norway's left-wing government lost power last year, told AFP he was aware of Snowden's reported request for asylum and that it should be handled according to normal procedures.

"This matter has not affected our decision to nominate Snowden for the peace prize," Solhjell said.

The deadline for submitting nominations for the 2014 peace prize is February 1.

Among those eligible to forward nominations are politicians and barristers around the world, as well as university professors from certain disciplines.

United States President Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2009, with the internet making the short list of nominees in 2010.

Topics: Security, Government, Privacy

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