Malala Yousafzai, the shot Pakistani schoolgirl-turned-icon of Taliban resistance, and ex-Eastern bloc activists are among those known to be nominated for this year’s Nobel Peace Prize.
This year’s award will be announced in October.
Malala, 15, was shot by a Taliban gunman at point blank range as she travelled on a bus to school on Oct 9, targeted for promoting girls’ education.
She has since become an internationally recognised symbol of opposition to the Taliban’s drive to deny women education, and against religious extremism in a country where women’s rights are often flouted.
“A prize to Malala would not only be timely and fitting with a line of awards to champions of human rights and democracy, but also ... would set both children and education on the peace and conflict agenda,” said the head of the Peace Research Institute of Oslo, Kristian Berg Harpviken.
Others known to have been nominated include Belarussian human rights activist Ales Belyatski — currently behind bars — and Lyudmila Alexeyeva from Russia.
Trying to predict who will win is difficult, complicated by the fact that the list of nominees each year is kept secret for 50 years.
But thousands of people are eligible to nominate candidates, such as members of parliament, and members of certain international organisations — and they are allowed to reveal the names they have put forward.
As a result, it is known that French, Canadian and Norwegian MPs have all separately nominated Malala.
Picture: Malala Yousafzai: The schoolgirl was shot in the head by the Taliban for promoting girls’ education. Picture: PA
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