Nobel Prize nominations pour into Oslo


Published: Saturday, February 1, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Friday, January 31, 2003 at 9:40 p.m.

Facts

On the Net:

  • Nobel Prizes:
    http://www.nobel.se

  • OSLO, Norway - Former Illinois Gov. George Ryan, who emptied the state's death row because he found the imposition of capital punishment unfair, is among those nominated for the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize.
    The nominating deadline - entries had to be postmarked Friday - brought a flood of last-minute names to the committee charged with selecting the winner of the prestigious award. It is presented on Dec. 10, the anniversary of Swedish creator Alfred Nobel's death in 1896. The winner, announced in mid-October, takes home approximately $1 million.
    "There is a lot of mail and many new proposals, but beyond that we have nothing to say," Geir Lundestad, the secretary of the secretive five-member awards committee, told The Associated Press on Friday.
    The prizes in physiology or medicine, literature, physics, chemistry and economics are awarded in the Swedish capital, Stockholm, while the peace prize is awarded in Oslo.
    The Peace Prize committee keeps the list of candidates secret for 50 years, only releasing the number of nominations it receives.
    Even the preliminary number released Feb. 17 is likely to change because the committee can add its own nominations when it meets on Feb. 25.
    The names of some nominees, such as Ryan, are already known because the people who nominated them aren't required to remain silent. Nominations can be made by former laureates, committee members, members of national governments and legislatures, some university professors and selected organizations.
    Cuban dissident Oswaldo Paya Sardinas was nominated by Czech politicians for his peaceful struggle to bring democracy to Cuba. Jailed Israeli nuclear technician Mordechai Vanunu was nominated by a group Norwegian university professors.
    The American Friends Service Committee (The Quakers), which shared the 1947 peace prize, announced the nomination of Women in Black, a worldwide peace network.
    Global Witness and Partnership Africa Canada were nominated by three U.S. lawmakers for their efforts to stop diamond trading in war zones in Africa, according to the groups' Internet home pages.
    Other nominations mentioned but not confirmed include: the Tiananmen Mothers; Irish Catholic priest, the Rev. Shay Cullen for his work in the Philippines; American Kathy Kelly for co-founding the Voices in the Wilderness Group, and members of the faculty at the University of Kabul in Afghanistan.
    Those likely to be nominated again could include the Salvation Army, the U.S. Peace Corps, Chinese-American dissident Harry Wu and Chinese Falun Gong movement founder Li Hongzhi.

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