Nobel Peace Prize 2021 a Most Ig-Nobel Decision: Assange Was the Journalist Entitled to Win


Fredrik S. Heffermehl – TRANSCEND Media Service

25 Oct 2021 – Having been studying the topic since 2007, I found the 2021 NPP most disgraceful. The Norwegian committee was again making its own prize, again it ignored the peace vision of Alfred Nobel and the legally binding intention of his testament.

As documented beyond doubt in my latest book, Fame or Shame, the Norwegian award committee is staunchly opposed to promoting Nobel´s idea of a demilitarized world order. Based on access to the Nobel Committee secretive archives, the book contains a survey of all prizes awarded since 1901 and the people who got them. The suppressed political idea of peace by peaceful means comes to light through portraits of the nominated candidates who should have won.

To sum up the present picture, the two main criteria pursued by the awarders is that,

  • the prize must be tasteful to the Norwegian political elite, and
  • it must, if possible, please both US and NATO or at least, if avoidable, not displease either US or NATO.

Such management of a bequest amounts to embezzlement or fraud.

It is wrong to forget that Nobel created a prize for global disarmament, not a prize for freedom of the press. Again in 2021 the committee could easily have promoted Alfred Nobel’s vision of peace, and at the same time prevented an egregious violation of human rights and press freedom, and given a historic blow to the more and more unrestrained military-industrial complex as well. One of the candidates this year was of utmost relevance to ridding the world of the politically enormously powerful global military order that Nobel wanted the prize to fight. The most acute and deadly threat to press freedom in the world today is the US campaign against Julian Assange.

Australian Assange, founder of WikiLeaks, deserves the thanks of world public opinion for exposing US war crimes in Iraq and Afghanistan. Russian press freedom is, after all, a local problem, but the US attack on Assange is seeking to prevent media all around the world from reporting critically on US abuses of power and crimes. So far, Assange has been deprived of his health and freedom for ten years. He is presently being held in isolation as a political prisoner in the Belmarsh maximum security prison in London, without charge or sentence, his treatment is torture. His courageous revelations could soon cost him his life. A Nobel committee faithful to Alfred Nobel’s vision of peace could have protected Assange from an egregious rights violation through extradition and life imprisonment in the United States.

And now the great paradox: The Nobel Committee ought to be happy that the freedom of the press it praises so highly does not work. If it had worked in matters of (unchecked) militarism, the world would no longer continue believing that Nobel established the prize for anything that could be labelled “peace”, the media would long ago have told people that the Norwegian-administered prize has betrayed Nobel’s main idea of global cooperation on disarmament as indispensable to peace. With vigilant media the Nobel Committee could not have got away with its betrayal of the core of the Nobel Prize. My 14 years of trying to explain and defend the Nobel idea have failed because the world media support the powerful military-industrial sector and is unable to see global disarmament as the only realistic means in a world with so many life-threatening problems.

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Fredrik S. Heffermehl, Oslo, lawyer and author Web:
Latest title (2020): Medaljens bakside. Nobels fredspris – hundre års ubrukte muligheter. (translated/adapted version in English is seeking a publisher) Shame or Fame. Norway and the Nobel Peace Prize: Presentation for foreign publishers:


Fredrik S. Heffermehl, cand. jur, LLM NYU, is a member of the TRANSCEND Network and ex-Vice President of the International Peace Bureau. He is the author of The Nobel Peace Prize, What Nobel Really Wanted (Praeger, 2010 – expanded versions in Chinese, Swedish, Finnish, Spanish and [2014] Russian). fredpax@online.no


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This article originally appeared on Transcend Media Service (TMS) on 25 Oct 2021.

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