World

Bradley Manning's Nobel Prize nomination backed by petition

Nobel Prize committee officials say they have received a petition claiming some 100,000 signatures that endorses awarding the peace prize to U.S. soldier Bradley Manning, who faces up to 90 years in prison for disclosing classified information through WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks whistleblower's nomination endorsed by 100,000 signatures on petition

U.S. Army Pte. 1st Class Bradley Manning is nominated for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize, which is worth more than $1,260,000. (Gary Cameron/Reuters)

Nobel Prize committee officials say they have received a petition claiming some 100,000 signatures that endorses awarding the peace prize to U.S. soldier Bradley Manning, who faces up to 90 years in prison for disclosing classified information through WikiLeaks.

Peace laureate Mairead Maguire nominated Manning for the prize in June, saying his leaks had helped end the war in Iraq by hastening foreign troop withdrawals and dissuading further American intervention in the Middle East.

U.S. anti-war activist Norman Solomon gave the petition on Monday to Nobel committee member Asle Toje, who said the annually awarded Nobel Prizes are "not a popularity contest" and the petition would neither weaken nor strengthen Manning's nomination.

Six officials penned Manning's nomination and sent it to the Norwegian Nobel Committee by the Feb. 1 deadline. The officials included Tunisia's former secretary of state for sport and youth and members of the Pirate Party.

Manning, "helped to fuel a worldwide discussion about the overseas engagements of the United States, civilian casualties of war and rules of engagement," read the nomination letter, adding that people worldwide are indebted to him for his actions.

The  last jailed Nobel Peace Prize winner was Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo in 2010.

German pacifist and journalist  Carl von Ossietzky and Burmese politician Aung San Suu Kyi have also been under arrest when they received the prize.

Since 1901, 93 Nobel Peace Prizes have been awarded to 124 laureates.

If Manning is awarded the prize, he will receive more than $1,260,000.

With files from CBC News