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Bradley Manning Wins Peace Prize

6:12 am in Uncategorized by David Swanson

U.S. whistleblower and international hero Bradley Manning has just been awarded the 2013 Sean MacBride Peace Award by the International Peace Bureau, itself a former recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize, for which Manning is a nominee this year.

Image of Bradley Manning

Bradley Manning, Peace Prize Winner

A petition supporting Manning for the Nobel Peace Prize has gathered 88,000 sinatures, many of them with comments, and is aiming for 100,000 before delivering it to the Norwegian Nobel Committee in Oslo.  Anyone can sign and add their comments at ManningNobel.org

The International Peace Bureau (IPB) represents 320 organizations in 70 countries.  It was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1910.  Over the years, 13 of IPB’s officers have been Nobel Peace laureates. See ipb.org

The Sean MacBride prize has been awarded each year since 1992 by the International Peace Bureau, founded in 1892. Previous winners include: Lina Ben Mhenni (Tunisian blogger) and Nawal El-Sadaawi (Egyptian author) – 2012, Jackie Cabasso (USA, 2008), Jayantha Dhanapala (Sri Lanka, 2007) and the Mayors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (2006). It is named after Sean MacBride, a distinguished Irish statesman who shared the 1974 Nobel Peace Prize, and is given to individuals or organisations for their outstanding work for peace, disarmament and human rights.

The medal is made of “peace bronze,” a material created out of disarmed and recycled nuclear weapons systems, by fromwartopeace.com  The prize will be formally awarded on Sept. 14 in Stockholm, at a special evening on whistleblowing, which forms part of the triennial gathering of the International Peace Bureau. See brochure at: PDF.

IPB’s Co-President Tomas Magnusson said,

IPB believes that among the very highest moral duties of a citizen is to make known war crimes and crimes against humanity. This is within the broad meaning of the Nuremberg Principles enunciated at the end of the Second World War. When Manning revealed to the world the crimes being committed by the U.S. military he did so as an act of obedience to this high moral duty. It is for this reason too that Manning has also been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. In more general terms it is well known that war operations, and especially illegal ones, are frequently conducted under the cover of secrecy. To penetrate this wall of secrecy by revealing information that should be accessible to all is an important contribution to the struggle against war, and acts as a challenge to the military system which dominates both the economy and society in today’s world. IPB believes that whistleblowers are vital in upholding democracies – especially in the area of defense and security. A heavy sentence for Manning would not only be unjust but would also have very negative effects on the right to freedom of expression which the U.S. claims to uphold.

Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire recently wrote:

I have chosen to nominate U.S. Army Pfc Bradley Manning, for I can think of no one more deserving. His incredible disclosure of secret documents to Wikileaks helped end the Iraq War, and may have helped prevent further conflicts elsewhere.

Maguire explains how far-reaching Manning’s impact has been:

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The 2012 Peace Prize Is Unlawful

6:06 am in Uncategorized by David Swanson

FROM: Nobel laureates demand 2012: c/o Peter Kolbe, Werderstr. 36 69120 Heidelberg, Germany p.kolbe@nobelforpeace-summits.org
TO: The Nobel Foundation, P.O. Box 5232, SE-102 45 Stockholm, Sweden
CC: The Foundations Authority, Stockholm County (Länsstyrelsen)

The European Union, announced by the Norwegian Nobel Committee as the winner of the peace prize for 2012, clearly is not one of “the champions of peace” Alfred Nobel had in mind when he described the purpose in his will. We ask the Board of the Foundation to clarify that it cannot and will not pay the prize from its funds.

We would like to remind you of the decision of the Swedish Foundations Authority (Länsstyrelsen) on March 21, 2012, requesting the Board to examine the purpose Nobel described in his will, underlining that all prizes must comply, and clarifying that the Swedish Foundations Act places the supreme authority and responsibility also for the Norwegian decisions in the Board of the Nobel Foundation.

Unauthorized transformation of Nobel’s purpose

Instead of an unspecified prize for “peace,” Alfred Nobel in his 1895 testament explained in precise terms the champions of peace (“fredsförfäktare”) whose work he wished to benefit. Nobel intended to support the political work for a demilitarized global peace order (a “folkens förbrödrande”), based on co-operation, law and disarmament.

The Norwegian Nobel Committee has redefined and reshaped the prize in a way that is not in accordance with the law. The choice of the EU for the 2012 prize fails on at least two counts:

  1. the EU is not seeking to realize Nobel’s demilitarized global peace order,
  2. the EU and member states condone security based on military force and waging wars rather than insisting on the need for an alternative approach.

The purpose of the peace prize is clarified by recent research. In 2008 Fredrik S. Heffermehl, a Norwegian lawyer and author and a former IPB Vice President, published the first known legal study of the prize and its purpose. In 2010 he published The Nobel Peace Prize. What Nobel Really Wanted (Praeger, 2010) with later updates in Chinese, Finnish, Swedish (Leopard, 2011).

The case for declaring the 2012 prize unlawful further rests on facts widely known and mentioned in comments following the announcement and we implore the Foundation to act in defense of the Nobel Peace Prize and its creator Alfred Nobel.

Loyal promotion of Nobel ‘s global peace order is the committee’s main obligation. Even accepting some flexibility with technical rules, the 2012 prize for the EU is particularly problematic in relation to Nobel language on “the last expired year” and that the winner should be a “person.”

We would appreciate an urgent clarification from the Foundation.

Sincerely,

Mairead Maguire, Nobel laureate, Northern Ireland

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nobel laureate, South Africa

Adolfo Perez Esquivel, Nobel laureate, Argentina

Co-signed by the following in their personal capacities (organizational affiliation only for identification and relevance)

Bruce Kent, former president of the International Peace Bureau, IPB (UK)

Robert Hinde, professor, Movement for the Abolition of War (UK)

Peter Kolbe, Board Member, UNA Branch of Baden Württemberg (Germany)

David Swanson, author, warisacrime.org (USA)

Tomas Magnusson, Co-president, International Peace Bureau (Sweden)

Ståle Eskeland, professor of law, University of Oslo, Norway

Fredrik S. Heffermehl, lawyer and author (The Nobel Peace Prize), Norway