Mairead Maguire nominates Assange, Manning, Snowden for Nobel peace prize

Irish peace prize winner explains how the bravery of these three whistleblowers inspires peace-loving workers everywhere.

“Give this man his truly earned freedom.” Mairead Maguire receives the Daphne Galizia award for journalists and whistleblowers on behalf of Julian Assange at the European parliament.

Dear members of the Nobel peace prize committee

I hope this letter finds you all well.

I write to nominate the following three people as a group of outstanding people of courage, for the 2021 Nobel peace prize: Julian Assange, (Bradley) Chelsea Manning and Edward Snowden.

All three have been individually nominated in previous years for the peace prize, but none have received it to date. My reasons for nominating the three together for the 2021 prize are simple. Individually each of these people has given a profound example of telling the truth of governments’ illegal actions causing the deaths of many people, and at the cost of their own freedom and life. Collectively, their lives of self-sacrifice and being prepared to give their lives for others is the most amazing act of magnificence of the human spirit. Indeed, it is breath-taking and a true testimony to the goodness in the human heart.

Today, around the world, when we listen or read about violence, militarism, poverty, war, pandemics, climate change, and particularly the suffering of millions of little children hungry in a rich world, it is hard not to feel despair and wonder where is the hope? However, the hope lies in the lives of ordinary people doing extraordinary things to serve and help others even sometimes at the cost of their own lives.

The hope lies in the lives of Chelsea, Ed, Julian and their acts of selflessness and altruism, which help to restore our faith in ourselves and in our brothers and sisters everywhere. We allow ourselves to be inspired by their courage and example and they motivate us to act.

If they can do such great acts of love, maybe we too can do something for others – at least we can try to keep the Golden rule, ‘do unto others as you would have them do to you’ (which all religions preach). We each can try to do no harm, and try to do what is right.

Chelsea Manning, as an American soldier, based in Iraq, could not go along with the murder of Iraqi civilians. Julian Assange, as a publisher had to do his duty and publish the facts of Iraqi and Afghan wars, Edward Snowden, working in American intelligence, could not remain silent knowing the American government was carrying out illegally surveillance on USA/world governments and citizens.

They could have all remained ‘silent’, but they choose the hard road to tell the truth, and now they are still being cruelly and vindictively punished by those who broke international laws and are the very people who should be held responsible for the deaths of children in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, etc.

Currently, Assange is in Belmarsh prison, UK, facing extradition charges to the USA, as the British government cooperates with the American grand jury to condemn him (an Australian citizen and publisher) to cruel, degrading and inhuman treatment, which could even lead to the death penalty for Assange.

The most insidious thing is that with a few honourable press exceptions, mainstream media, if not remaining silent at this injustice and torture of Assange by UK and USA government, collude in their abuse of Assange, a fellow publisher. (If Assange is extradited to the USA to stand trial and is imprisoned for truth-telling, no newspaper reporter or publisher in the world will be safe from the same treatment by the USA and other repressive governments.)

Snowden is seeking asylum in Moscow (which has just granted him citizenship to help protect his life) and is unable to return to his home in the USA lest he is arrested and ends up in an American prison for life.

Manning is in an American prison, having been re-arrested and held because she she courageously refuses to give testimony against Assange.

All of these three champions of peace followed their conscience and did their duty with love. I am sure, like us all, they were afraid, but as they each came through their dark nights of the soul, they each did something beautiful and magnificent in service of others. For this, we must all be grateful for their beautiful spirits.

The Nobel committee could protect and help save the lives of these three champions of peace by awarding them the 2021 Nobel peace prize. By doing so, they would honour the will of Nobel, in acknowledging true heroes of peace.

The Nobel committee would also give great hope to publishers, journalists, writers and many others who are facing repression and persecution by their governments as they struggle to be the writers of truth and history for humanity.


Mairead Maguire
Nobel peace prize winner