Nobel Peace Prize 2014 : A compendium of candidates

Alexis Demoment, translated by Amélie Rastoin
2 Octobre 2014



The 69th Nobel Peace Prize since its creation in 1901 will be announced in Oslo next Friday, October 10. A record 278 nominees has been reached this year, with 47 organizations among them.


Crédit DR
Crédit DR
Although the list of nominees must be kept secret until 2064, some names have surfaced prematurely. Among them, here are three serious candidates for the award. However, this list is far from exhaustive !

Ales Bialiatski, activist for the Human Rights

Crédit DR
Crédit DR
This Belarusian political activist owns a collection of many prizes today (Lech Walesa, Homo Homini Award, and the Per Anger Prize), but the Nobel Peace Prize seems to be missing from this list. Founder of the Viasna Human Rights Centre and vice president of the International Federation for Human Rights, he has dedicated his life to promoting human rights. After the fall of the USSR, he became one of the main opponents of Alexander Lukashenko, president of Belarus since 1994, whose methods of governing are similar to that of the USSR.

Bialiatski was also one of the founding members of the Belarusian Popular Front. It is undoubtedly this connection with the centrist party, which was opposed to the communist dictatorship, which was the reason for his imprisonment from 2011 till last June, officially under charges of tax evasion.

Malala Yousafzai, partisan of women's education

Crédit DR
Crédit DR
Only 17 years old, this Pakistani girl was the youngest nominee for the Nobel Prize last year. When she was only 11, she started to denounce the conditions of schoolgirls in her country on her blog, essentially risking death. Since a failed assassination attempt against her in 2012, she has become the symbol of the fight for women's rights, particularly on the right to education. She strongly criticizes life under Taliban occupation.

Of course, she is far from being the only one in this fight, but she openly declares herself an opponent to the Taliban in the media, which brings a constant threat to herself and her family. However, it can be ensured that this brave young woman has a promising future.

Julian Assange, defender of the right of information

Crédit Geoff Caddick/AFP/Getty Images
Crédit Geoff Caddick/AFP/Getty Images
This Australian computer engineer is the founder of the alternative, non-profit news source Wikileaks. He is a major player in current network development. For one, he carried out works on the production of privacy and anonymity for Internet users. In addition, he published confidential documents online in order to combat what he calls a “discrepancy” between the government's actions and the information it gives to its citizens.

With this goal in mind, he published many confidential documents from the Pentagon on the US army's strategy in the Gulf area. In 2010, though he had already published tens of thousands of documents and announced that he would unveil new ones, he was mysteriously accused of several assaults by the Swedish justice system. He found political asylum at the Ecuadorian embassy in London, where he has been living and continuing to write since 2012, threatened to be arrested if he ever leaves.

Of course, the list of people deserving of this prize is quite long. However, it is also notable that Pope Francis has been nominated for his speeches in favor of ecumenism and his attempts to match Catholic values with the current times.

Furthermore, it is tragic to notice that the three nominees presented here are all under threat of imprisonment or death. It is the same case for former NSA member Edward Snowden, another nominee. Currently a refugee in Russia to protect himself from the US government, he openly criticized the CIA's surveillance methods by revealing classified documents on NSA practices. Let's hope that being awarded a Nobel Prize or simply being nominated will attract more global attention to their cases and the causes they're fighting for.

Notez