Oct. 10 - American academic Gene Sharp, Arab Spring Internet activists, and Russian rights group among the favourites to win Nobel Peace Prize along with other big-names including Bono and Bill Clinton. Sheffer reports.
American academic Gene Sharp is among the 188 individuals and 43 organisations nominated this year for the Nobel Peace Prize. His writings on how to use non-violence to bring down autocratic regimes are often cited as a major influence on Arab Spring activists and were read widely in Tiananmen Square in 1989. Gene Sharp calls upon activists to remain non-violent, even in the face of brutality and provocation. He says disciplined non-violence causes a regime's brutality to boomerang on itself, and his writing catalogue more than 200 techniques of non-violence. Also among the contenders are Internet activists of the Egyptian and Tunisian Arab Spring uprisings, when hundreds of thousands of people challenged the grip on power of autocratic rulers across the Arab world. Egyptian Internet activist and Google executive Wael Ghonim, and Tunisian blogger Line Ben Mhenni could therefore be among those in line for the award. Russian rights group Memorial was also nominated for the coveted prize. Founded in 1987, Memorial is a community of many different organisations in the former Soviet Union which aim to reveal truths about the Soviet past and monitor current human rights conditions. Many rights groups say they're facing increasing barriers to their work since Russian President Vladimir Putin returned to the Kremlin in May and signed a law labelling foreign-funded NGOs as "foreign agents".