NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by a Swedish professor.

Stefan Svallfors, a sociology professor at Umea University, put Snowden's name forward for the prestigious award, saying that the 29-year-old was a champion for freedom and fundamental rights.

"Edward Snowden has helped to make the world a little bit better and safer," Svallfors wrote in the entry letter published by Swedish newspaper Västerbottens-Kuriren.

The academic described Snowden's leaks about the NSA's and other security agencies' sweeping data trawl of phone and internet records as a "heroic effort at great personal cost".

Svallfors claimed that Snowden was one of the few individuals who had continued to observe the principle set at the 1945 Nuremberg trials against the Nazis - that "only following orders" was not an acceptable excuse for behaviour.

"The decision to award the 2013 prize to Edward Snowden would also help to save the Nobel Peace Prize from the disrepute that it incurred with the hasty and ill-conceived decision of awarding US president Barack Obama in 2009," Svallfors added.

"It would show its [the Nobel Committee's] willingness to stand up for civil liberties and human rights, even when such a defence is to be viewed with disfavour by the world's dominant military power."

As a sociology professor Svallfors is one of the few qualified individuals who can file a candidacy for the prestigious award to the adjudicating committee, which is based in Norway. However, his nomination missed the February deadline and will not be considered by the nominations committee.

"The deadline for nominations to the 2013 Nobel Peace Prize was indeed February 1st.<sup> Nominations regarding the 2013 prize, received after this date, are not considered for 2014," the Nobel Foundation spokeswoman Annika Pontikis told IBTimes UK.

According to the Nobel rules, all nominations should also be kept secret.

However, according to the five-member judging committee's recent trend, Snowden was not likely to take home the prize anyways.

In the last decade the panel has favoured candidates who represent the establishment, especially when awarding a nominee from the West.

The last five Western laureates are two US presidents (Obama and Jimmy Carter), one US vice-president (Al Gore), a Finnish president (Martti Ahtisaari) and the EU.

The prize is awarded to "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses".

Snowden remains stuck in legal limbo in the transit area of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, where he arrived from Hong Kong on June 23.

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