News / USA

US Rights Group Urges Nobel Peace Prize for WikiLeaks Soldier

U.S. Army Private First Class Bradley Manning (C) departs the courthouse at Ft. Meade, Maryland, July 30, 2013.
U.S. Army Private First Class Bradley Manning (C) departs the courthouse at Ft. Meade, Maryland, July 30, 2013.
TEXT SIZE - +
Reuters
— A U.S. rights group has collected over 100,000 signatures urging the Norwegian Nobel committee to give this year's Peace Prize to Bradley Manning, a U.S. soldier convicted of leaking classified U.S. government files touching on military policy.
 
Recognizing Manning, the head of the RootsAction group said, would also help repair the Nobel panel's reputation after it chose President Barack Obama for the Peace Prize in 2009, only a few months into his first term of office.
 
“There's a cloud hanging over the Nobel Peace Committee,” Norman Solomon, co-founder of RootsAction said on Monday, as he prepared to hand his 5,000-page petition to the committee.
 
“In a sense, the Nobel Peace Prize at this point needs Bradley Manning more than Bradley Manning needs the Nobel Peace Prize ... There has now grown a question about the Nobel Committee's commitment to human rights and peace in an even handed, independent way.”
 
Private First Class Manning was convicted earlier this month of charges that included espionage and theft for releasing more than 700,000 battlefield videos, diplomatic cables and other secret documents to the anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks. He now faces up to 90 years in prison.
 
Solomon argued that the disclosures shortened the U.S. military involvement in Iraq and made it more difficult for the country to engage in conflict. A representative of the Nobel committee said the petition would not influence its decision.
 
“The Nobel Peace Prize is not a popularity contest and a large number of signatures will neither help nor hinder his [Manning's] candidacy,” Asle Toje, the Norwegian Nobel Committee's Research Director said.
 
“It will be reviewed on its merit, based on the principles laid out in the will of Alfred Nobel. It's not unprecedented that we receive a large volume of supporting material for a candidate ... but these do not influence the committee.”
 
Manning, 25, was a low-level intelligence analyst in Iraq in 2010 when he was charged with leaking files including videos of a 2007 attack by a U.S. Apache helicopter gunship in Baghdad that killed a dozen people, two of them Reuters news staff.
 
The Nobel committee, which also came under fire for awarding the Peace Prize to the European Union last year, has repeatedly rejected criticism over its selection of Obama before the first black U.S. president had achieved anything notable in office.
 
The 2013 Peace Prize will be announced on October 11. A total of 259 people and groups were nominated by the February deadline, including Manning, Pakistani schoolgirl Malala Yousufzai, Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and Myanmar President Thein Sein.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid