Pope Francis, Edward Snowden, Angela Merkel, and a Russian newspaper are among the likely contenders for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize. Paul Chapman reports.
There are 273 candidates for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize...just five behind last year's record number. Many media reports are tipping German Chancellor Angela Merkel to win because of her decision to allow up to 800, 000 refugees into the country. Pope Francis is also a contender for his championing of the poor and downtrodden, calls for peace in the Middle East, and his work in thawing U.S. relations with Cuba. Perhaps it could go to fugitive U.S. former security contractor Edward Snowden for his revelations of the secret collection of email and phone data. Then there's Saudi blogger Raif Badawi. He's been jailed for ten years, fined more than $260,000 and sentenced to 1, 000 lashes for criticising Saudi Arabia's clerics. Not all the contenders are individuals. One of Russia's few remaining independent newspapers, Novaya Gazeta, known for its investigative reporting on human rights abuses and corruption, is believed to on the list. Organisations are also eligible, like the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. (SOUNDBITE)(English) ICAN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR BEATRICE FIHN SAYING: "We don't really expect to win, of course, we are quite a young campaign still and we have a lot of work to do before, but this is an extreme honour of course that people recognise the work that we do." The many other contenders are thought to include U.S. academic Gene Sharp whose writing on non-violence techniques has been cited as an influence on activists campaigning against Egypt's former leader Hosni Mubarak. Victor Ochen, for his work with those who've suffered physically and emotionally from Uganda's decades-long conflict. And the United Nations Special Representative on sexual violence, Zainab Bangura. The winner's due to be announced on the 9th October.