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Aug 12, 2013 1:34 PM by katc

Petition backs Bradley Manning for Nobel Peace Prize

Nobel Prize committee officials say they have received a petition claiming some 100,000 signatures that endorses awarding the peace prize to U.S. soldier Bradley Manning, who faces up to 90 years in prison for disclosing classified information through WikiLeaks.

Peace laureate Mairead Maguire nominated Army Pfc. Manning for the prize in June, saying his leaks had helped end the war in Iraq by hastening foreign troop withdrawals and dissuading further American intervention in the Middle East.

U.S. anti-war activist Norman Solomon gave the petition on Monday to Nobel committee member Asle Toje, who said the annually awarded $1 million Nobel Prizes are "not a popularity contest" and the petition would neither weaken nor strengthen Manning's nomination.

The last jailed Nobel Peace Prize winner was Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo in 2010.

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