Sweden’s and Iceland’s Pirate Party representatives have jointly nominated whistleblowers Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning for 2014 Nobel Peace Prize. For Snowden, it is the fourth such nomination – his third this year.
“We are nominating Manning and Snowden together because the courage of Manning inspired in Snowden and both of them have inspired thousands of people all over the world to speak truth to power and demand transparency and accountability in their own societies,” said a joint letter by representatives in the EU parliament from the Pirate Party of Sweden and MPs from the Pirate Party of Iceland published Monday.
The ‘Pirates’ filed their joint nomination letter for the American whistleblowers just before the February 1 deadline.
The emotional text says that the two “outstanding candidates… have achieved and exceeded all the qualifications required to be worthy laureates of the Nobel Peace Prize” of 900,000 euro. The prize is awarded annually on December 10 to those who have “done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies.”
Addressing the Nomination Committee, the Pirate Party members say that the whistleblowers “have inspired change and encouraged public debate and policy changes that contributed to a more stable and peaceful world” by leaking a trove of classified documents.
In the case of Manning, these documents pointed to “a long history of corruption, serious war crimes, and a lack of respect for the sovereignty of other democratic nations by the United States government in international dealings.”
Snowden’s leaks in turn revealed “the horrific scope of the global espionage network of the Anglo-American spy agencies” whose activities “endanger a wide array of civil liberties… such as free speech and the right to privacy,” the letter says.
Manning, 26, leaked hundreds of thousands of documents via the whistleblowing website, WikiLeaks, while serving as a US Army soldier in Iraq. The files included shocking “Collateral murder” video of US helicopter crew gunning down a group of Iraqi people, among them Reuter’s journalists. In 2013, Manning was sentenced to 35 years in a military prison for his leaks.
According to the Pirate Party, not only did Manning’s revelations “foster public dialogue on the legitimacy, suitability, and relevancy of the military interventions carried out by US troops,” but also “fueled democratic uprisings around the world, including a democratic revolution in Tunisia” and “helped motivate the democratic Arab Spring movements.”
Former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor and CIA employee Snowden, 30, has been living in Moscow under temporary Russian asylum since summer 2013, after stepping into the limelight in Hong Kong and having his passport revoked by the US. Snowden disclosed top secret files to independent journalists across the world, prompting media outlets to start the unceasing flow of leaks on the global surveillance practices of the NSA and its counterparts, the so-called Five Eyes alliance.
“Mass surveillance erodes the fundamentals of modern democracies, making local laws to protect privacy meaningless within its global scope. Snowden has shown us that journalists can no longer protect their sources, lawyers can’t protect their clients and doctors can’t protect their patients’ information,” Pirate Party members said.
The “NSA leaks” sparked calls for “a global action… to reinstate constitutional rights of privacy for citizens which is completely essential to healthy democracies,” the letter maintains.
The Pirate Party’s Nobel Peace Prize nomination for Snowden became the fourth such request, with the first formal nomination filed in July 2013 by a Swedish professor, and the two others following in January 2014. Several Norwegian MPs, including a former government minister, nominated Snowden on January 29, while the 58-member Green/European Free Alliance group in the European Parliament named the whistleblower their nominee on January 31.