Nobel Peace Prize Favourites 2016

When the deadline for the nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize this year expired, 376 candidates were nominated - the highest number ever. There were 228 individuals and 148 organisations. These are our favourites this year:

1. President Juan Manuel Santos and the leader of the FARC guerrilla in Colombia Timoleon Jimenez
The peace agreement was signed on 26 September 2016. It will end a 50 years old civil war with several hundred thousand victims and millions internal refugees. In spite of the fact that a small majority rejected the agreement in a referendum on 2 October the Nobel Committee probably will honour the two leaders in order to support new negotiations. Norwegian diplomats have facilitated the deal together with Cuban authorities. Latin-America has not had a peace prize laureate since Rigoberta Menchu in 1992.

2. Novaya Gazeta and Svetlana Gannushkina
The Novaya Gazeta is one of few independent voices in Russia, and several of its journalists have been killed. Freedom of speech is under pressure in Russia and till now no media has received the Peace Prize. Svetlana Gannuskhina is a Russian human rights activist. In 2012 she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by the present Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg. A prize to the Russian opposition will provoke Putin and possibly irritate some Norwegian politicians and parts of Norwegian business. But it will underline the independence of the Nobel Committee.

3. The Iran Nuclear Deal
Several possible candidates, among them US Secretary of State John Kerry, his Iranian counterpart the foreign minister Mohammed Javad Zarif and the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Frederica Mogherini. The deal allows Iran to have a nuclear program for peaceful purposes only. It prevents the development of nuclear weapons. The deal will be supervises by the peace prize laureate of 2005, IAEA, International Atomic Energy Agency. (a UN organisation).

4. Raif Badawi from Saudi Arabia
Badawi has been jailed and sentenced to a thousand lashes for his work for human rights and the freedom of speech. He has strong support from the 1977 Peace Prize laureate, Amnesty International. Badawi has received numerous awards, among them the Sakharov-prize from the European Parliament.

5 Dr. Denis Mukwege from Congo
Mukwege has been a nominee for the Peace Prize several times for his continuous work to help violated and raped women during the of the civil wars in Congo.

6. Edward Snowden
The American computer professional Edward Snowden
now lives in exile in Russia. In 2013 he leaked enormous documentation of American surveillance of the US population and populations abroad - including several heads of state in allied countries. The American government has raised charges against Snowdon for espionage and theft of US government property. Snowden has received several prizes as whistle-blower and international human rights defender.