Nobel peace prize jury under investigation

Jury's choices often spark debate on who's most deserving of the USD 1.5 million award.

Written by Agencies | Stockholm | Published: February 2, 2012 9:42 am

The nomination deadline for the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize closed today amid renewed criticism that the award committee has drifted away from the selection criteria established by prize founder Alfred Nobel.

Russian human rights activist Svetlana Gannushkina,jailed former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko and Cuban rights activists Oswaldo Paya and Yoani Sanchez are among the candidates who have been publicly announced by those who nominated them.

The secretive prize committee doesn’t discuss nominations which have to be postmarked by February 1 to be valid but stresses that being nominated doesn’t say anything about a candidate’s chances.

Its choices often spark debate the world rarely agrees on who’s most deserving of the USD 1.5 million award but this year the committee is facing criticism even before the deliberations have begun.

Stockholm’s County Administrative Board,the authority that supervises foundations and trusts in the city,has formally asked the Nobel Foundation to respond to allegations that the peace prize no longer reflects the will of Nobel,a Swedish industrialist who died in 1896.

The move comes after persistent complaints by Norwegian peace researcher Fredrik Heffermehl,who claims the original purpose of the prize was to diminish the role of military power in international relations.

“Nobel called it a prize for the champions of peace,”

Heffermehl told The Associated Press today. “And it’s indisputable that he had in mind the peace movement,the movement which is actively pursuing a new global order … where nations safely can drop national armaments.”

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