A Swedish sociology professor has nominated NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden for the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize, according to reports.
In his letter addressed to the Norwegian Nobel Committee, Stefan Svallfors praised Snowden for his “heroic effort at great personal cost.”
He stated that by revealing U.S. surveillance programs, Snowden showed “individuals can stand up for fundamental rights and freedoms.”
Citing the Nuremberg trials of 1945, Svallfors notes that "'I was just following orders’ is never an excuse for acts contrary to human rights and freedoms."
He also says Snowden “save the prize from the disrepute incurred by the hasty, ill-conceived decision” to give the 2009 award to Barack Obama.
The head of the International Committee of the Russian State, Duma Aleksey Pushkov, says the U.S. won’t let Nobel Peace Prize go to Snowden.
Nevertheless, his mere nomination speaks volumes, he says:
"Not in a million years will the U.S. allow Snowden to get the Peace Prize. But his nomination is significant. Many in the West see him as a champion of democracy."
The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded since 1901 to individuals who “shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations."
The list of criteria also includes working toward "abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses.”
Edward Snowden isn't be the first Nobel nominee of his kind.
Just last year, Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier accused of passing secret materials to WikiLeaks, was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
In 2011, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was nominated.
Snowden’s nomination is expected to be reviewed by the committee for next year's prize. The 30-year-old nominee is wanted in the U.S. on espionage charges.
He fled American soil for Hong Kong in May and then flew to Moscow, Russia, where he has been stuck in an airport transit zone for three weeks.
On Friday, he said he is seeking political asylum in Russia because he cannot fly to Latin America, where he previously sought protection.