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Nobel Peace Prize no longer respects Nobel's peace will: Norwegian lawyer
2010/10/21
OSLO, Oct. 15 (Xinhua) -- Nine out of the last ten Nobel Peace Prizes were "illegal" as awarding has become overtly deviated from the last words of its founder, a Norwegian lawyer and peace activist has said.
 
"My legal evaluation of (Alfred) Nobel's will, the first ever, shows that today the prize is Nobel's only in name. In reality, it is the prize of the Norwegian parliament," Fredrik Heffermehl told Xinhua in an interview this week.
 
The conclusion was reached after he conducted a careful study of the Swedish chemist's testament and a thorough legal evaluation of the Nobel Peace Prizes given during the past 109 years.
 
"Prizes awarded no longer respect Nobel, who wished to support global disarmament," said Heffermehl, who expounded his research in his latest book titled "The Nobel Peace Prize -- What Nobel Really Wanted."
 
In Nobel's own words, his assets ought to be used to recognize "champions of peace," a term which Heffermehl said refers to peace activists working to build a demilitarized world.
 
"On the contrary, the prizes (now) reflect the attitudes of Norwegian politicians who believe in military strength, loyalty to NATO, and subservience to the United States of America," he said.
 
All but one of the last ten peace prizes awarded are illegal, Heffermehl concluded in his 238-page book published last August, in which he tracked an ever-widening divergence of the Norwegian Nobel Committee's selections from Nobel's will.
 
"Very long ago, the committee forgot that Nobel made a fundamental choice of approach to peace, between two opposing ideas of security. Instead of relying on strength and threats, Nobel wished nations to develop a deep mutual trust and abolish their military forces and arms industry," said Heffermehl.
 
Should the Nobel Committee have dedicated itself to Nobel's goal of general and total disarmament, it would have helped promote "open communication" between nations and "the freedoms to meet and discuss," he continued.
 
Yet members of the committee, many being retired lawmakers, have ignored indisputable evidence for Nobel's true intention, and have acted "as if they were above the law," Heffermehl said.
 
Meanwhile, he added that although the Nobel Committee is free to decide and independent of political pressure, it does not mean that the body is immune to political leanings.
 
"Unfortunately, however, most of the committee members... have a thinking formed by the confrontational situation of the Cold War and lack understanding of the alternative peace thinking Nobel wished it to promote," said Heffermehl, who previously authored a book titled "Peace is Possible."
 
"Again this year, even reminded of its legal obligation, the Nobel Committee did not dare to confront the force most powerful in world affairs -- the military-industrial juggernaut," he added.
 
He admitted that his latest book, which serves as "a critical study of Norwegian politicians and the Nobel Committee and their attitude to democratic ideals and the rule of law" and contains inside information kept as secret by the committee, irks Norwegian authorities.
 
"I am certain that my criticism is useful to Norway, to the world, and that my protest must lead to a much more important and useful peace prize," he told Xinhua.
 
The task of the Nobel Committee, he insisted, "is to help achieve a new level of civilization and rule of law on the international level and free humanity from the deadly grip of militarism."
 
"I am sure that Norwegian lawmakers will soon realize that it is a legal obligation to appoint a committee of people dedicated to Nobel's ideas. His intention was to build bridges, respect, cooperation and understanding among nations," Heffermehl added.
 
"The 2010 prize fails in this respect also," he said. This year's prize was granted to Liu Xiaobo, who was sentenced in December 2009 to 11 years in prison on charges of fomenting acts of agitation aimed at subverting the Chinese government.

 


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