WikiLeaks gets Nobel peace prize nomination

WikiLeaks has been nominated for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize by Norwegian MP Snorre Valen, in recognition of the whistle-blowing site's role in promoting freedom of speech.

"WikiLeaks is one of this century's most important contributors to freedom of speech and transparency," Valen told Norwegian news agency NTB today.

Valen said that WikiLeaks' release of 250,000 secret US diplomatic wires, known as Cablegate, had revealed the US government's honest assessment of its 'friend', former Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, helping to prompt the protests that had removed him from power.

The politician also praised the site's efforts to expose "illegal surveillance, war crimes and torture committed by a number of states".

While the five-member Nobel Committee advises against nominations being revealed ahead of the awards ceremony - which is normally held in early October - there's no formal rule against doing so.

Valen is a member of Norway's Socialist Left Party, which forms part of the country' ruling 'red-green' coalition.

MPs, academics and former Peace Prize laureates, as well as current and former members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, are among those who can nominate candidates for the coveted award.

The 2010 prize was given to Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, who was unable to collect the award in person because he is still being held by Chinese authorities.