UK campaigners call for Nobel Prize for shot Pakistani girl

LONDON Fri Nov 9, 2012 5:36am IST

Malala Yousufzai is seen recuperating at the The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham in this handout photograph released October 19, 2012. REUTERS/Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham/Handout/Files

Malala Yousufzai is seen recuperating at the The Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham in this handout photograph released October 19, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham/Handout/Files

Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, daughter of Congress party chief Sonia Gandhi, adjusts her flower garlands as she campaigns for her mother during an election meeting at Rae Bareli in Uttar Pradesh April 22, 2014. REUTERS/Pawan Kumar

Election 2014

More than 814 million people — a number larger than the population of Europe — are eligible to vote in the world’s biggest democratic exercise.  Full Coverage 

LONDON (Reuters) - Tens of thousands of Britons called on the government on Friday to nominate Malala Yousufzai, a Pakistani girl shot in the head by the Taliban for advocating girls' education, for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The 15-year-old is receiving specialist treatment in the English city of Birmingham after gunmen shot her on October 9 for standing up against the Taliban and openly advocating education for women.

The attack has drawn widespread international condemnation and Yousufzai has become a powerful symbol of resistance to the Taliban's attempts to suppress women's rights.

On Friday, a campaign led by a Pakistani-British woman urged Prime Minister David Cameron and other senior government officials to nominate Yousufzai for the Nobel Peace Prize.

"Malala doesn't just represent one young woman, she speaks out for all those who are denied an education purely on the basis of their gender," campaign leader Shahida Choudhary said in a statement issued by global petition platform Change.org.

More than 30,000 people have signed the petition in Britain as part of a global push by women's rights advocates to nominate her for the prize. Similar campaigns have sprung up in Canada, France and Spain.

Under the Nobel Committee's rules, only prominent figures such as members of national assemblies and governments are able to make nominations.

Yousufzai was unconscious and fighting for her life when she was flown to Britain a month ago but the hospital in Birmingham where she is being treated says she is recovering well.

On Friday it released photographs of Yousufzai reading a book and clutching a white teddy bear, dark bruises covering her eyelids.

She appeared serious and focused on her reading, her hair covered with a bright pink-and-white scarf.

Her father and other family members have flown to Birmingham, which has a large Pakistani diaspora, to oversee her recovery. On October 26 her father said his daughter would "rise again" to pursue her dreams after hospital treatment.

Her shooting was the culmination of years of campaigning that had pitted the young girl against one of Pakistan's most ruthless Taliban commanders, Maulana Fazlullah.

Fazlullah and his men have taken over Yusufzai's native Swat Valley and have blown up girls' schools and publicly executed those they deem immoral. An army offensive in Swat has however forced many Taliban fighters to flee.

The call to nominate the girl comes on the eve of this Saturday's "Global Day of Action" for Yousufzai, marking one month since her shooting.

In October, the Nobel Peace Prize went to the European Union for promoting peace and democracy. (Editing by Andrew Roche)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Election 2014

Election 2014

Kashmiris wary as Modi challenges for power.  Full Article 

Facebook's Performance

Facebook's Performance

Facebook Q1 revenue grows 72 percent on rising mobile ads.  Full Article 

Earnings Season

Earnings Season

Bharti Infratel Q4 net profit jumps 64 percent.  Full Article 

Monsoon Forecast

Monsoon Forecast

South Asia monsoon seen below-average to average in 2014 - WMO.  Full Article 

Solar Dispute

Solar Dispute

Green groups urge U.S. to drop solar trade case against India.  Full Article 

Oil Imports

Oil Imports

India to make May-July oil payments to Iran - sources.  Full Article 

Rice Exports

Rice Exports

India may cede top rice exporter spot under Southeast Asian price onslaught.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage