Sunday 19 January 2020

Brave Malala favourite to scoop Nobel Peace Prize

Mark Lewis

A record 259 candidates, including 50 organisations, have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize this year so here is a breakdown of the front-runners.

Brave Pakistani Malala Yousafzai (16), who was shot in the head by the Taliban last October for advocating education for girls is the favourite to become the youngest winner of any Nobel prize.

Congolese surgeon Dr Denis Mukwege has treated thousands of gang-raped women at the Panzi Hospital he set up in Bukavu in 1999 and has been in hiding in Europe since an assasination attempt on him for lashing out at the international community for its inaction on Congo's vicious civil war.

Russian activist Svetlana Gannushkina and the Memorial rights group she heads have been seen as top candidates for several years while another potential candidate is Lyudmila Alexeyeva, an 84-year-old former Soviet dissident and critic of President Vladimir Putin's regime.

The choice of politicians in both Norway and the USA is Egyptian computer scientist turned Coptic Christian nun, Sister Maggie Obran. Sr Maggie has been running the Stephen's Children charity since 1989, reaching across religious boundaries to help those in Cairo's slums.

An outsider for the award is Army Pvt. Chelsea Manning, the American soldier convicted of leaking classified documents to WikiLeaks in one of the biggest intelligence leaks in US history.

She is serving 35-year prison sentence for sending more than 700,000 documents to the anti-secrecy website. The nomination deadline was February 1, months before her conviction.

Irish Independent

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