This week, the former Norwegian Socialist Left Party minister Baard Vegar Solhjell, along with his colleague Snorre Valen, sent their recommendation to the Norwegian Nobel Committee to nominate international whistleblower Edward Snowden for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014.
Both Solhjell and Valen made it clear they don’t explicitly support Snowden’s choice to expose state secrets, although they do believe that the sacrifice he made in pursuit of keeping the world’s private moments to themselves was admirable and worthy of the award.
“Snowden contributed to people knowing about what has happened and spurring public debate” on trust in government, which he said was “a fundamental requirement for peace. The level of sophistication and depth of surveillance that citizens all over the world are subject to have stunned us, and stirred debate.”
Various other politicians and civil rights activists have been nominated for the prize this year, however many suspect that with the high-profile nature of Snowden’s case, he is likely going to be a shoe-in for the win.
Upon his initial departure from the US, Snowden spent weeks applying for asylum to several nations, including Russia, Venezuela, and Norway. Solhjell is aware that Snowden was seeking safety in his home country, but stated that he would need to go through the “normal procedure” in order to make that dream a reality.
Of course, the great potential irony of Snowden winning the prize is that he’ll also don the title of the first person to ever be targeted for arrest for death by a previous prize winner, Barack Obama, who as we all remember was nominated and won the same honor back in 2009.