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Asia-pacific

Nobel Peace prize petition for shot Pakistani schoolgirl

© AFP

Latest update : 2012-11-09

Thousands of people joined a campaign on Friday calling for 15-year-old Taliban shooting victim Malala Yousufzai to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. The schoolgirl thanked her supporters as she recovers in a British hospital.

A campaign calling for the 15-year-old Pakistani girl shot in the head by the Taliban to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize garnered support from thousands of people on Friday.

More than 30,000 people have signed a petition in Britain as part of a global push by women's rights advocates calling for the government to nominate Malala Yousufzai her for the prestigious prize.

The 15-year-old, who thanked well wishers for their support on Friday, is receiving specialist treatment in the English city of Birmingham after gunmen shot her on October 9th for standing up to the Taliban and openly advocating education for women.

The attack drew widespread international condemnation, and Yousufzai has subsequently become a powerful symbol of resistance to the Taliban’s attempts to suppress women’s rights.

On Friday, a campaign led by Pakistani-Britain Shahida Choudhary urged Prime Minister David Cameron and other senior government officials to nominate Yousufzai for the prestigious 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 Choudhary said in a statement issued by global petition platform Change.org.

Global campaign of support

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 now report that she is recovering well.

Malala’s father thanked her supporters from around the world on Friday, just one month on from the shocking attack.

"She wants me to tell everyone how grateful she is and is amazed that men, women and children from across the world are interested in her well-being," her father Ziauddin Yousafzai said on behalf of the 15-year-old.

"We deeply feel the heart-touching good wishes of the people across the world of all caste, colour and creed," he said in a statement issued by the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, where Malala is being treated.

Her father added: "I am awfully thankful to all the peace-loving well-wishers who strongly condemn the assassination attempt on Malala, who pray for her health and support the grand cause of peace, education, freedom of thought and freedom of expression."

The hospital on Friday published photos of Malala sitting and reading a book, while others showed her poring over get-well cards.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2012-11-09

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