Two Norwegian lawmakers have jointly nominated National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden for the Nobel Peace Prize, they said Wednesday on their party website.
Snowden has “revealed the nature and technological prowess of modern surveillance,” and by doing so has contributed to peace, said a joint statement by Bard Vegar Solhjell and Snorre Valen of the Socialist Left Party.
Nominations for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize — whose previous winners include such figures as the late South African President Nelson Mandela, Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi and President Barack Obama — close on Saturday, with the winner announced in October.
According to the Norwegian Nobel Committee’s rules, Solhjell and Valen are qualified, as national lawmakers, to make a nomination. The names of each year’s nominees are not revealed until 50 years later.
“There is no doubt that the actions of Edward Snowden may have damaged the security interests of several nations in the short term. We do not necessarily condone or support all of his disclosures,” said the statement by Solhjell and Valen.
“We are, however, convinced that the public debate and changes in policy that have followed in the wake of Snowden’s whistleblowing has contributed to a more stable and peaceful world order.
“His actions have in effect led to the reintroduction of trust and transparency as a leading principle in global security policies. Its value can’t be overestimated.”
Snowden remains in Russia, where he was granted one year’s asylum in June.
In the United States, he faces charges of espionage and theft of government property over the leaking of sensational details of spy programs.