WikiLeaks among more than 200 nominees for Nobel Peace Prize

Nobel Peace Prize

WikiLeaks has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, but it is not likely to win. Image: Flickr / amonroy / CC-BY-SA

WikiLeaks, the website responsible for releasing millions of pages of secret documents, has a new headline. One member of the Norwegian Nobel Committee has nominated WikiLeaks for the Nobel Peace Prize. The nomination has been submitted, but WikiLeaks is not likely to win.

Norwegian politician announces WikiLeaks nomination

Generally, the Nobel Committee keeps the file of nominations sealed for 50 years. There is no rule, however, that those making nominations have to keep it secret. Norwegian parliamentarian Snorre Valen announced his nomination of WikiLeaks to the Norwegian Nobel Committee on Feb. 1. In the announcement, he said that WikiLeaks should be considered “one of the most important contributors to freedom of speech and transparency.” In his mind, this makes the site deserving of the Nobel Peace Prize.

WikiLeaks not likely to win the Nobel Peace Prize

Though it has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, WikiLeaks is not likely to actually win the $1.6 million award. Generally, the Nobel Committee receives 200 or more nominations for each prize. The Nobel Committee keeps each discussion confidential, but those who pay attention to the committee’s past decisions do not consider WikiLeaks a strong contender. NPR reported that Kristian Harpsviken, director of the Peace Research Institute in Oslo, does not consider it likely.

“The reason I think it’s unlikely is that there has been so much criticism of WikiLeaks, not least how they have handled identification issues of people in the documents,” he said. “I don’t think it quite does the trick.”

Using the Peace Prize for a political message

Many are curious about the political message that may be sent if WikiLeaks is considered for — or actually wins — the Nobel Peace Prize. The Nobel Committee is not afraid of making a political statement with its awards, as President Obama and Liu Xiaobo‘s awards show. The difficulties WikiLeaks faces, especially with identification of individuals in the documents, simply makes it not likely.


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