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According to new reports, 8 of the 10 men who attempted assassination of Malala Yousafzai in 2012 were acquitted in Pakistan.

In April 2015, officials in Pakistan said that 10 Taliban fighters had been found guilty and received 25-year jail terms.

However, only two of the men who stood trial were convicted, BBC reported.

The secrecy surrounding the trial, which was held behind closed doors, raised suspicions over its validity.

The Pakistani court claims that the two men convicted were those who shot Malala Yousafzai in 2012.

It was previously thought that both the gunmen and the man who ordered the attack had fled to Afghanistan.

Muneer Ahmed, a spokesman for the Pakistani High Commission in London, said on June 5 that the eight men were acquitted because of a lack of evidence.Malala Yousafzai attacker acquitted

Saleem Marwat, the district police chief in Swat, Pakistan, separately confirmed that only two men had been convicted.

Muneer Ahmed claimed that the original court judgment made it clear only two men had been convicted and blamed the confusion on misreporting.

Sayed Naeem, a public prosecutor in Swat, told the Associated Press news agency after the trial: “Each militant got 25 years in jail. It is life in prison for the 10 militants who were tried by an anti-terrorist court.”

In Pakistan, a life sentence is 25 years.

The acquittals emerged after reporters from the Daily Mirror attempted to locate the 10 convicted men in prisons in Pakistan.

The whereabouts of the eight acquitted men is not known.

The trial was held at a military facility rather than a court and was shrouded in secrecy, BBC reported. Anti-terrorism trials in Pakistan are not open to the public.

Pakistani authorities did not make the judgment available at any stage, nor did they correct the reports over the past two months that 10 men had been convicted.

The announcement of the convictions in April took many by surprise. No journalists had been made aware that the trial was taking place.

The Pakistani authorities did not say when and where the men had been arrested or how they were linked to the attack, or explain the charges against them.

Malala Yousafzai, who is now 17, was targeted by Taliban gunmen while she was travelling home from school in the town of Mingora.


The gunmen boarded a bus and asked for her by name before shooting her in the head.

She was targeted after campaigning for education rights for girls. She also wrote an anonymous blog for the BBC’s Urdu service, describing life under the Taliban

Malala Yousafzai was treated for her injuries in the UK and currently lives in Birmingham with her family. They are unable to return to Pakistan because of death threats from the Taliban.

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Ten men have been jailed for life in Pakistan for the attack on education activist Malala Yousafzai.

Malala Yousafzai, who was 15-year-old at the time, was shot in the head on board her school bus in the Swat valley in 2012, in an attack that shocked the world.

She was awarded last year’s Nobel Peace Prize for campaigning for children’s rights, despite the risk to her life.

Officials say the ten men, who do not include the man named as chief suspect, belonged to the Pakistani Taliban.

Ataullah Khan, a 23-year-old militant, was identified by a police report at the time of the shooting – but he did not appear in the list of ten men convicted on April 30.Malala Yousafzai attack

They were tried in an anti-terrorist court in Swat.

Also not included in the list of the 10 sentenced, according to an unnamed security official quoted by Reuters, were the gunmen who boarded the bus and shot Malala Yousafzai.

The exact charges the men faced remain unclear.

Pakistani officials believe local Taliban leader Mullah Fazlullah ordered the attack. He is thought to be in Afghanistan.

Malala Yousafzai was treated for her injuries in the UK and currently lives in Birmingham with her family. They are unable to return to Pakistan because of Taliban death threats.

Pakistan’s mountainous Swat valley was ruled by the Taliban from 2007 to 2009.

It was the threat by Mullah Fazlullah to close down schools offering girls’ education that led to Malala Yousafzai’s diary for BBC Urdu, which was written when she was just 11 years old.

The blog, which described life under the Taliban, was anonymous, but Malala Yousfazai also began to campaign publicly for children’s rights.

Malala Yousafzai and Indian child rights campaigner Kailash Satyarthi have received the Nobel Peace Prize awards.

The Nobel committee described both laureates as “champions of peace”.

The Pakistani education activist said she was there to stand up for the rights of forgotten and frightened children, and raise their voice rather than pity them.

Kailash Satyarthi said receiving the prize was “a great opportunity” to further his work against child slavery.

Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi received their awards from the chairman of the Norwegian Nobel committee, in the presence of King Harald V of Norway.

They delivered their Nobel lectures during the award ceremony.

In her speech, Malala Yousafzai, 17, said the award was not just for her: “It is for those forgotten children who want education. It is for those frightened children who want peace. It is for those voiceless children who want change.

“I am here to stand up for their rights, raise their voice. It is not time to pity them. It is time to take action so it becomes the last time that we see a child deprived of education.”Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi Nobel Peace Prize

Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen in October 2012 for campaigning for girls’ education and now lives in the UK.

She is the youngest-ever recipient of a Nobel Prize.

She said she had brought other girls with her to Oslo with similar stories, among them two classmates shot alongside her by the Taliban.

Malala Yousafzai said she was dedicating the prize money to the Malala Fund, “to help give girls everywhere a quality education and call on leaders to help girls like me…”

“I will continue this fight until I see every child in school,” she added.

“I feel much stronger after the attack that I endured, because I know, no-one can stop me, or stop us, because now we are millions, standing up together.”

In his speech earlier, Kailash Satyarthi, 60, said he was “representing the sound of silence” and the “millions of those children who are left behind”.

He said he had kept an empty chair at the ceremony as a reminder of the children without a voice.

“There is no greater violence than to deny the dreams of our children,” he said.

“I refuse to accept that the shackles of slavery can ever be stronger than the quest for freedom,” he added, to applause.

Nobel committee chairman Thorbjorn Jagland stressed the importance of education, saying: “The road to democracy and freedom is paved with knowledge.”

Thorbjorn Jagland praised Kailash Satyarthi’s work campaigning against child labor, often at great risk to himself.

He also lauded Malala Yousafzai’s efforts to promote education despite threats from the Taliban, saying: “Her courage is almost indescribable.”

Indian and Pakistani leaders congratulated the laureates.

Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi were jointly awarded the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education”.

Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi have split the $1.4 million prize money.

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Naomi Campbell took to Twitter just hours after Malala Yousafzai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to add to her thoughts on the occasion.

Naomi Campbell, 44, appeared to fall foul of autocorrect, spelling the Pakistani teenager’s name “malaria” and drawing an instant chorus of dismay from eagle-eyed Twitter users.

Malala Yousafzai, 17, became the youngest person in history to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday, October 10.

Naomi Campbell took to Twitter just hours after Malala Yousafzai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to add to her thoughts on the occasion

Naomi Campbell took to Twitter just hours after Malala Yousafzai was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize to add to her thoughts on the occasion

Naomi Campbell’s offending tweet, which was still on the site more than seven hours after being posted, also included a link to an Instagram picture of the women’s education campaigner.

On the picture Malala Yousafzai is quoted: “I speak not for myself but for those without a voice – those who have fought for their right to live in peace.”

But once again the supermodel misspelt her name, tagging @malaria, an unknown Instagram user, in the post instead of the new Nobel laureate.

The super model later tweeted a correction, claiming her phone “spat out” the wrong spelling of Malala Yousafzai’s name.

The peace prize was awarded jointly to Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthifrom India, “for their struggle against the suppression of children and young people and for the right of all children to education”.

Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi have jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014.

At the age of just 17, Pakistani child education activist Malala Yousafzai is the youngest ever recipient of the prize.

Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by Taliban gunmen in October 2012 for campaigning for girls’ education. She now lives in Birmingham in the UK.

The Nobel committee praised the pair’s “struggle against the suppression of children and young people”.

Indian child rights campaigner Kailash Satyarthi, 60, has maintained the tradition of Mahatma Gandhi and headed various forms of peaceful protests, “focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain,” the committee said at the Nobel Institute in Oslo.

Kailash Satyarthi founded Bachpan Bachao Andolan, or the Save the Childhood Movement, which campaigns for child rights and an end to human trafficking.

Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi have jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014

Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi have jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize for 2014 (photo Reuters/AFP)

Malala Yousafzai was taken out of her classroom in her new home city of Birmingham to hear the news on October 10.

Her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, told the Associated Press that the prize would “boost the courage of Malala and enhance her capability to work for the cause of girls’ education”.

Thorbjorn Jagland, chairman of the Norwegian Nobel Committee, paid tribute to Malala Yousafzai’s achievements.

“Despite her youth, Malala Yousafzai, has already fought for several years for the right of girls to education and has shown by example that children and young people too can contribute to improving their own situations,” he said.

“This she has done under the most dangerous circumstances. Through her heroic struggle she has become a leading spokesperson for girls’ rights to education.”

The committee said it was important that a Muslim and a Hindu, a Pakistani and an Indian, had joined in what it called a common struggle for education and against extremism.

Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi will now be invited to attend an award ceremony in Oslo in December to receive a medal and $1.4 million pounds in prize money.

This year’s record number of 278 Nobel Peace Prize nominees included Pope Francis and Congolese gynaecologist Denis Mukwege, although the full list was kept a secret.

Former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and Russian newspaper Novaya Gazeta had also been tipped as favorites for the award.

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Malala Yousafzai has met Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan to press for more action to free at least 200 girls held by Boko Haram Islamist militants.

Boko Haram’s leader Abubakar Shekau has reiterated in a new video message that he is prepared to negotiate a prisoner swap for them.

He also expressed support for Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, the self-declared caliph of a new Middle Eastern state.

Boko Haram sparked a global outcry when it abducted the girls three months ago.

Goodluck Jonathan’s government has faced strong criticism for not doing enough to curb violence by Boko Haram, especially in the wake of the kidnappings.

Malala Yousafzai has met Nigeria's President Goodluck Jonathan to press for more action to free at least 200 girls held by Boko Haram Islamist militants

Malala Yousafzai has met Nigeria’s President Goodluck Jonathan to press for more action to free at least 200 girls held by Boko Haram Islamist militants

Pakistani rights activist Malala Yousafzai, 17, met Goodluck Jonathan in the Nigerian capital, Abuja, and urged him to meet the families of the kidnapped girls.

She also met relatives of the girls on Sunday, and expressed solidarity with them.

President Goodluck Jonathan has not spoken to the relatives, exactly three months after the abductions.

The military has also failed to debrief some of the girls who managed to escape from captivity, he says.

In a statement after his meeting with Malala Yousafzai, President Goodluck Jonathan said he would meet with the parents before they left Abuja “to personally comfort them and reassure them” that the government was doing “all within its powers to rescue their daughters”.

The notion that the government has not been doing enough to find and rescue the girls was “very wrong and misplaced”, the statement said.

“Terror is relatively new here and dealing with it has its challenges. The great challenge in rescuing the Chibok girls is the need to ensure that they are rescued alive,” Goodluck Jonathan said.

After meeting the parents, Malala Yousafzai said she understood their suffering.

“It’s quite difficult for a parent to know that their daughter is in great danger. My birthday wish this year is… bring back our girls now, and alive.”

Two years ago, Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by Pakistani Taliban militants for campaigning for girls’ education.

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President Vladimir Putin has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize despite escalating tensions over sending Russian troops to Ukraine’s Crimea region.

Pope Francis, former NSA contractor Edward Snowden and Pakistani teenager Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban, are also on the list.

A record 278 candidates, including 47 organizations, have received nominations for this year’s prize, the Norwegian Nobel Institute’s director Geir Lundestad said.

Committee members met Tuesday to add their own suggestions. They focused on recent turmoil around the globe, including the crisis in Ukraine.

Russia seized control of Crimea after Ukraine’s President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted on February 22. It has led to the most serious confrontation between Moscow and the West since the end of the Cold War in 1991.

Vladimir Putin has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize despite escalating tensions over sending Russian troops to Ukraine’s Crimea region

Vladimir Putin has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize despite escalating tensions over sending Russian troops to Ukraine’s Crimea region

Geir Lundestad said: “Part of the purpose of the committee’s first meeting is to take into account recent events, and committee members try to anticipate what could be the potential developments in political hotspots.”

Malala Yousafzai, 16, who was shot int e head by the Taliban for campaigning for equal education rights for girls, and Russian dissidents who have spoken out over human rights are also believed to be among the candidates.

The list of nominees also includes Pope Francis and Edward Snowden.

Conflicts between protesters and the governments of Thailand and Venezuela are also expected to be debated by the committee.

“We are getting an increasing number of nominations from people in countries that have never submitted nominations before,” Geir Lundestad said.

The nominations are kept secret for half a century but thousands of people can propose candidates, including members of national assemblies, and many make their choices public.

The committee reduced its list of potential winners to between 25 and 40 on Tuesday and will create a shortlist of about 12 names by the end of April.

The Nobel Peace Prize was first awarded in 1901.

The prize includes 8 million Swedish crowns ($1.15 million) in cash.

Nobel Peace Prize winner will be announced on the second Friday of October and the prize will be presented on December 10, the anniversary of Alfred Nobel’s death.

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Malala Yousafzai has received the EU’s Sakharov human rights prize at a ceremony in Strasbourg.

In a speech, the Pakistani schoolgirl and campaigner, who was shot in the head by the Taliban, dedicated the award to “the unsung heroes of Pakistan” and to human rights campaigners worldwide.

European Parliament President Martin Schulz presented the award.

Malala Yousafzai, 16, was shot a year ago after campaigning for better rights for girls in Pakistan.

The Sakharov Prize for free speech is awarded by the European Parliament annually in memory of Soviet physicist and dissident Andrei Sakharov.

The 50,000 euro ($65,000) prize is considered Europe’s top human rights award.

“I am hopeful the European Parliament will look beyond Europe to the suffering countries where people are still deprived of their basic rights, their freedom of thought is suppressed, freedom of speech is enchained,” Malala Yousafzai said.

Malala Yousafzai has received the EU's Sakharov human rights prize at a ceremony in Strasbourg

Malala Yousafzai has received the EU’s Sakharov human rights prize at a ceremony in Strasbourg

“Many children have no food to eat, no water to drink and children are starving for education. It is alarming that 57 million children are deprived of education… this must shake our conscience.”

Malala Yousafzai began her speech with a famous quote often attributed to the 18th Century French philosopher Voltaire: “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.”

She said children in countries such as Pakistan “do not want an iPhone, a PlayStation or chocolates, they just want a book and a pen”.

MEPs gave her a standing ovation.

More than 20 former laureates attended the ceremony, a parliament spokesman said. Malala Yousafzai is the 25th laureate.

Martin Schulz called her “a global icon” and told her “you have given hope to millions of children”.

“It is our responsibility to ensure that your dream becomes a reality,” he said, referring to her ambition to spread free education to boys and girls everywhere.

Martin Schulz also praised her father for “not locking her away, and giving her freedom”.

Mala Yousafzai joins a distinguished list of winners of the Sakharov Prize that includes Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi.

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Malala Yousafzai and Barack Obama’s elder daughter, Malia, are on Time magazine’s list of 16 most influential teens of 2013.

Time magazine’s list, published Tuesday, took young people who have inspired the society by their work in various fields like music, sports, technology, science, writing and media.

The magazine said that Malia Obama, 15, and her sister, Sasha, act with the poise of adults.

Barack Obama’s elder daughter, Malia, is on Time magazine's list of 16 most influential teens of 2013

Barack Obama’s elder daughter, Malia, is on Time magazine’s list of 16 most influential teens of 2013

“President Obama often mentions his daughters in speeches, and says that they influenced his stance on gay marriage,” the magazine said.

Pakistani education activist Malala Yousafzai, 16, was a target because of her vocal activism to better the education of girls under Taliban rule, Time said.

After surviving the attack, Malala Yousafzai didn’t hide in fear but strengthened her voice, it added.

Malala Yousafzai received the Sakharov Prize and Clinton Global Citizen Award this year for freedom of speech.

She was also nominated for the Nobel Peace prize 2013.

Others who figured on Time’s list are: singers Lorde, 17, and Justin Bieber, 19, actors Kiernan Shipka, 14, Chloe Grace Moretz, 16 and Hailee Steinfeld, 16, authors Maya Van Wagenen, 15, and Beth Reekles, 17, technology whizkid Nick D’Aloisio, 18, Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin, 18, fashion icon Dante de Blasio, 16, Romanian scientist Ionut Budisteanu, 19, Kendell and Kylie Jenner, 18 & 16, Lydia Ko, 16 .

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Malala Yousafzai’s book has been banned from private schools across Pakistan, education officials said on Sunday.

The Pakistani officials claim the teenage activist’s book doesn’t show enough respect for Islam and called her a tool of the West.

Malala Yousafzai attracted global attention last year when the Taliban shot her in the head in northwest Pakistan for criticizing the group’s interpretation of Islam, which limits girls’ access to education.

Her profile has risen steadily since then, and she released a memoir in October, I Am Malala, that was co-written with British journalist Christina Lamb.

While Malala Yousafzai has become a hero to many across the world for opposing the Taliban and standing up for girls’ education, conspiracy theories have flourished in Pakistan that her shooting was staged to create a hero for the West to embrace.

Adeeb Javedani, president of the All Pakistan Private Schools Management Association, said his group banned Malala Yousafzai’s book from the libraries of its 40,000 affiliated schools and called on the government to bar it from school curriculums.

“Everything about Malala is now becoming clear,” Adeeb Javedani said.

Malala Yousafzai's book has been banned from private schools across Pakistan

Malala Yousafzai’s book has been banned from private schools across Pakistan

“To me, she is representing the West, not us.”

Kashif Mirza, the chairman of the All Pakistan Private Schools Federation, said his group also has banned Malala Yousafzai’s book in its affiliated schools.

Malala Yousafzai “was a role model for children, but this book has made her controversial,” Kashif Mirza said.

“Through this book, she became a tool in the hands of the Western powers.”

He said the book did not show enough respect for Islam because it mentioned Prophet Muhammad’s name without using the abbreviation PUH – “peace be upon him” – as is customary in many parts of the Muslim world. He also said it spoke favorably of author Salman Rushdie, who angered many Muslims with his book The Satanic Verses, and Ahmadis, members of a minority sect that have been declared non-Muslims under Pakistani law.

In her reference to Salman Rushdie, Malala Yousfzai said in the book that her father saw The Satanic Verses as “offensive to Islam but believes strongly in the freedom of speech.”

“First, let’s read the book and then why not respond with our own book,” the book quoted her father as saying.

Malala Yousafzai mentioned in the book that Pakistan’s population of 180 million people includes more than 2 million Ahmadis, “who say they are Muslim though our government says they are not”.

“Sadly those minority communities are often attacked,” the book said, referring also to Pakistan’s 2 million Christians.

The conspiracy theories around Malala Yousafzai reflect the level of influence that right-wing Islamists sympathetic to the Taliban have in Pakistan. They also reflect the poor state of education in Pakistan, where fewer than half the country’s children ever complete a basic, primary education.

Millions of children attend private school throughout the country because of the poor state of the public system.

The Taliban blew up scores of schools and discouraged girls from getting an education when they took over the Swat Valley, where Malala Yousafzai lived, several years ago. The army staged a large ground offensive in Swat in 2009 that pushed many militants out of the valley, but periodic attacks still occur.

The mastermind of the attack on Malala Yousafzai, Mullah Fazlullah, recently was appointed the new head of the Pakistani Taliban after the former chief was killed in a US drone strike.

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girls’ education campaigner who has found international fame since being shot by Taliban militants last year, met with Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II.

The Queen and Prince Philip invited the young activist to a reception at Buckingham Palace, where they met and chatted for a short time.

Malala Yousafzai, who was accompanied by her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, presented the Queen with a copy of her newly published memoir, titled I am Malala.

“It’s nice to meet you and it’s a great honor coming here, and I wanted to present you my book,” Malala Yousafzai said when she met the Queen.

Queen Elizabeth responded: “That’s very kind of you. Thank you very much indeed.”

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip invited Malala Yousafzai to a reception at Buckingham Palace, where they met and chatted for a short time

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip invited Malala Yousafzai to a reception at Buckingham Palace, where they met and chatted for a short time

Malala Yousafzai, 16, said she hoped the two could work together to make sure all children receive an education, not just in Pakistan, but in the UK, too.

“I hope that we will all work together for the education of every child, and especially in this country as well, because I have heard about many children that cannot go to school,” said the Queen.

“So I hope that we will continue our work on youth empowerment.”

Prince Philip made a joke about children and education when meeting Malala Yousafzai at the palace.

“It’s one thing about children going to school,” he said, “they go to school because their parents don’t want them in the house.”

In an interview with CNN last week, Malala Yousafzai joked that she was going “because it’s the order of the Queen, it’s the command.”

Malala Yousafzai has been based in Britain since she was rushed there for major surgery after the Taliban shot her in the head in her native Pakistan because of her efforts to promote girls’ education.

Last Friday, as the world marked the International Day of the Girl, Malala Yousafzai met President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House.

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Pakistani schoolgirl campaigner Malala Yousafzai has met President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House in the Oval Office.

The First Family thanked Malala Yousafzai, 16, who was shot in the head last year by the Taliban, for her “inspiring and passionate work” for girls’ education.

Malia Obama, 15, also attended the meeting.

The White House said the US celebrated Malala Yousafzai’s courage and determination to promote girls’ right to attend school.

Malala Yousafzai has met President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House in the Oval Office

Malala Yousafzai has met President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama at the White House in the Oval Office

“As the First Lady has said, <<Investing in girls’ education is the very best thing we can do, not just for our daughters and granddaughters, but for their families, their communities, and their countries>>,” the White House said in a statement.

On Thursday, Malala Yousafzai was awarded the EU’s Sakharov human rights prize. Although she had been tipped for the Nobel Peace Prize, on Friday that went to the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), the body overseeing the destruction of Syria’s chemical arsenal.

A native of Pakistan’s mountainous Swat Valley, Malala Yousafzai rose to prominence in 2009 after writing an anonymous blog for the BBC Urdu service about her life under Taliban rule and the lack of education for girls.

Malala Yousafzai’s name became internationally known after the Pakistan army pushed the Taliban out of the area in 2009.

The Taliban’s Islamist doctrine puts harsh restrictions on women’s rights and one of the militants shot her last year as she was riding in a bus with school friends.

After the attack, Malala Yousafzai was flown to the UK for medical treatment and now lives in Birmingham, where she is going to school.

Malala Yousafzai and the Congolese doctor who helped rape victims are among this year’s Nobel Peace Prize favorites.

The winner of the most coveted of the Nobel honors will be revealed in Oslo at 11:00 local time Friday.

This year’s record list of 259 nominees remains a secret, but bookmakers and pundits say Malala is a contender.

Gynaecologist Denis Mukwege of the Democratic Republic of Congo is also tipped but predictions are often wrong.

Chelsea Manning, the US soldier convicted of giving classified documents to WikiLeaks has also been listed as a potential nominee.

Malala Yousafzai is among this year's Nobel Peace Prize favorites

Malala Yousafzai is among this year’s Nobel Peace Prize favorites

Others include Maggie Gobran, an Egyptian computer scientist who abandoned her academic career to become a Coptic Christian nun and founded the charity Stephen’s Children, and Russian former mathematics professor Svetlana Gannushinka who set up the rights group Civil Assistance.

If she wins, Malala Yousafzai, 16, will claim a gold medal, 8 million Swedish kronor ($1.25 million) and the title of youngest-ever Nobel laureate.

Malala Yousafzai emerged as a contender after continuing her work to promote better rights for girls despite being shot in the head by the Taliban in Pakistan.

The Pakistani young activist rose to prominence in 2009 after writing a blog anonymously for the BBC Urdu service about her life under Taliban rule in Pakistan’s Swat Valley.

On Thursday Malala Yousafzai was named as the winner of the EU’s Sakharov prize, a 50,000-euro ($65,000) award considered Europe’s top human rights accolade.

Bookmakers have placed Malala Yousafzai as 3/5 favourite on a list which includes long shots such as U2 singer Bono, Russian President Vladimir Putin and WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Denis Mukwege, who has been listed as a possible Nobel laureate in the past, set up a hospital and foundation to help tens of thousands of women raped by militants and soldiers in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Like Malala Yousafzai, Denis Mukwege was also targeted by assassins a year ago. He escaped injury but temporarily sought exile in Europe.

Previous Nobel peace prize laureates include anti-apartheid hero Nelson Mandela, US President Barack Obama, the Dalai Lama and Burmese opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.

In 2012 the prize was awarded to the European Union in recognition of its contribution to peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.

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Malala Yousafzai, who was shot in the head by the Taliban, has won the European Union’s Sakharov human rights prize.

The 16-year-old Pakistani activist was shot a year ago for campaigning for better rights for girls.

Malala Yousafzai has won the EU's Sakharov human rights prize

Malala Yousafzai has won the EU’s Sakharov human rights prize

The Sakharov Prize for free speech is awarded by the European Parliament annually in memory of Soviet physicist and dissident Andrei Sakharov.

Edward Snowden had been a contender for the prize.

The 50,000 euro ($65,000) prize is considered Europe’s top human rights award.

Malala Yousafzai rose to prominence in 2009 when she wrote a blog for the BBC Urdu service about her life under Taliban rule and the lack of education for girls.

Malala Yousafzai received a standing ovation in July this year for an address to the UN General Assembly, in which she vowed she would never be silenced.

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Edward Snowden has made the shortlist of three for the Sakharov prize, Europe’s top human rights award.

The American fugitive was nominated by Green politicians in the European Parliament for leaking details of US surveillance.

Nominees also include Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager shot in the head for demanding education for girls.

Former recipients of the prize, awarded by the European Parliament, include Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi.

Edward Snowden has made the shortlist of three for the Sakharov prize

Edward Snowden has made the shortlist of three for the Sakharov prize

Edward Snowden’s nomination recognized that his disclosure of US surveillance activities was an “enormous service” to human rights and European citizens, the parliament’s Green group said.

The former NSA employee, who has sought asylum in Russia, said in a statement read out in parliament that he was grateful to Europe’s politicians for “taking up the challenge of mass surveillance”.

“The surveillance of whole populations, rather than individuals, threatens to be the greatest human rights challenge of our time,” Edward Snowden said.

The Sakharov prize for freedom of thought is awarded annually in memory if Andrei Sakharov, a Soviet scientist and dissident.

The winner of this year’s prize will be announced on October 10.

The third nominee for the award is a group of Belarusian political dissidents jailed in 2010 for protesting against the disputed re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko.

The group includes activists Ales Bialiatski, Eduard Lobau and former presidential candidate Mykola Statkevich.

Ales Bialiatski was also named as the first person to receive the Council of Europe’s Vaclav Havel human rights prize, worth €61,000 ($81,000).

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Malala Yousafzai portrait by Jonathan Yeo is to go on display for the first time at the National Portrait Gallery in London.

The 16-year-old educational activist was attacked by gunmen in Pakistan in 2012, following her campaign for girls to have the right to attend school.

Jonathan Yeo said it was an “honor” to paint a portrait of “one of the most inspiring figures of our age”.

The portrait shows Malala Yousafzai doing her homework and is larger than life-size.

It will go on display alongside several previously un-exhibited Jonathan Yeo portraits of well-known figures, such as Damien Hirst and Kevin Spacey.

Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head on a school bus by Taliban gunmen on her way home from school in October 2012.

Malala Yousafzai portrait by Jonathan Yeo is to go on display for the first time at the National Portrait Gallery in London

Malala Yousafzai portrait by Jonathan Yeo is to go on display for the first time at the National Portrait Gallery in London

She was flown to Birmingham for treatment and now lives in the city.

Jonathan Yeo first met Malala Yousafzai and her family in April, when she had just started school in the UK and was still recovering from her injuries.

He said it was “a great privilege to spend some time with Malala and her family at such a pivotal moment in her life”.

“Given how much she has already been through and all that she represents to the world, it took a while to adjust to the fact that she is still a very fragile teenager.

“Hopefully the painting reflects the slight paradox of representing someone with enormous power and wisdom yet vulnerability and youth at the same time,” he said.

The portrait will be auctioned later for Malala Yousafzai’s charity fund, which campaigns for girls’ rights to education.

Malala Yousafzai, who has recently been awarded the International Children’s Peace Prize, said she was “honored that the National Portrait Gallery should wish to hang my picture and touched that Jonathan asked to paint me. I think that he has really captured me in the image.”

“Jonathan has been extremely kind in donating the portrait to The Malala Fund and it is wonderful to know that many children will ultimately be able to benefit from the money raised from its sale,” Malala Yousafzai added.

Pakistani Taliban leader Adnan Rasheed has sent a letter to schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, expressing shock that she was shot by Taliban gunmen last year.

The Taliban was universally condemned after gunmen shot Malala Yousafzai in the head.

In his letter to Malala, Adnan Rasheed stops short of apologising but says he wished the attack “had never happened”.

He also claims the shooting was not in response to Malala Yousafzai’s campaign for girls’ education, but because she ran an anti-Taliban “smear campaign”.

Malala Yousafzai – who is considered a contender for the Nobel Peace Prize – is credited with bringing the education issue to global attention.

Speaking at UN headquarters in New York last Friday, she said that books and pens scared extremists. She also urged education for all, including “for the sons and daughters of the Taliban and all the terrorists”.

Correspondents say Adnan Rasheed’s letter was an apparent attempt to attract media attention with a view to counter the impact of Malala Yousafzai’s speech at the UN.

A copy of the letter was obtained by Channel 4 News and other news organizations.

Pakistani Taliban leader Adnan Rasheed has sent a letter to schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, expressing shock that she was shot by Taliban gunmen last year

Pakistani Taliban leader Adnan Rasheed has sent a letter to schoolgirl Malala Yousafzai, expressing shock that she was shot by Taliban gunmen last year

Writing in his “personal capacity”, Adnan Rasheed said he felt “brotherly” emotions towards Malala because they belong to the “same Yousufzai tribe”.

However, he refuses to condemn the attack, saying the judgement on whether it was correct or not should be left to God.

Adnan Rasheed says he first heard of Malala Yousafzai’s work when he was in prison, when the BBC Urdu service broadcast a diary that she wrote.

He says he wished he had been able to “advise” her before the attack, which he describes as an “accident”.

The Taliban leader also says that his group is not “against education of any men or women or girls”. Instead he claims Malala Yousafzai was targeted because she campaigned to “malign [the Taliban’s] efforts to establish the Islamic system”.

“You have said in your speech that the pen is mightier than the sword, so they attacked you for your sword, not for your books or school,” he writes.

Adnan Rasheed finishes by telling Malala Yousafzai to “come back home, adopt the Islamic and Pashtun culture and join any female Islamic madrassa [school], use your pen… and reveal the conspiracy of the tiny elite who want to enslave the whole of humanity”.

Malala Yousafzai’s family said in a statement that they were aware of the letter but had not received it directly and had no wish to comment on it.

After the shooting, Malala Yousafzai was flown from Pakistan to the UK for treatment, and now lives in Birmingham, England.

Her speech on her 16th birthday at UN headquarters in New York was her first public address since last October’s attack.

Malala Yousafzai said she was fighting for the rights of women because “they are the ones who suffer the most”.

A quarter of young women around the world have not completed primary school.

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Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl shot by Taliban gunmen, is to address the United Nations as part of her campaign to ensure free compulsory education for every child.

Malala Yousafzai will mark her 16th birthday by delivering a speech later on Friday at the UN headquarters in New York.

She was shot in the head on a school bus by Taliban gunmen because of her campaign for girls’ rights.

It will be Malala Yousafzai’s first public speech since last October’s incident in Pakistan’s north-western Swat valley.

After the shooting Malala Yousafzai was flown from Pakistan to the UK for treatment, and now lives in Birmingham.

Malala Yousafzai is to address the UN as part of her campaign to ensure free compulsory education for every child

Malala Yousafzai is to address the UN as part of her campaign to ensure free compulsory education for every child

A passionate campaigner for female education, Malala Yousafzai will address more than 500 students at a specially convened youth assembly.

The teenager has been credited with bringing the issue of women’s education to global attention.

In her speech Malala Yousafzai will call on politicians to take urgent action to ensure every child has the right to go to school.

About 57 million people around the world still do not have access to education, and a quarter of young women have not completed primary school.

The Pakistani schoolgirl, who set up the Malala Fund following the attack, will also present a petition of more than three million signatures to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon demanding education for all.

The event, described as Malala Day by the UN, has been organized by former British PM Gordon Brown, now the UN Special Envoy for Global Education.

Gordon Brown said: “Getting every girl and boy into school by 2015 is achievable.

“It is only impossible if people say it’s impossible. Malala says it is possible – and young people all over the world think it is possible.”

Aid agencies say that female access to education in Pakistan is a particular problem. They say that the country ranks among the lowest in terms of girls’ education enrolment, literacy and government spending.

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Angelina Jolie has honored Pakistani schoolgirl activist Malala Yousafzai, who has launched Malala Fund, a charity to fund girls’ education.

In New York, Angelina Jolie said Malala Yousafzai would be “in charge” of the Malala Fund.

Malala Yousafzai, 15, said in a video the launch was “the happiest moment of my life”.

The charity’s first grant will fund the education of 40 girls in Pakistan.

Angelina Jolie has honored Malala Yousafzai, who has launched Malala Fund, a charity to fund girls' education

Angelina Jolie has honored Malala Yousafzai, who has launched Malala Fund, a charity to fund girls’ education

Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Taliban in October in retribution for her advocacy for girls’ education.

The teenager now attends school in Birmingham, UK, following her recovery from the shooting and has signed a book deal worth about $3 million for her memoir.

The book, titled I am Malala, is scheduled for publication in the autumn.

“Announcing the first grant of the Malala Fund is the happiest moment in my life,” Malala Yousafzai said in a video message at the Women in the World conference in New York.

“I invite all of you to support the Malala Fund and let us turn the education of 40 girls into 40 million girls.”

Malala Yousafzai started school again in mid-March following surgery to fit a titanium plate and cochlear implant into her skull.

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Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who survived being shot in the head by the Taliban in October 2012, has signed a book deal worth about $3 million.

Malala Yousafzai, 15, who campaigns for girls’ education, says the memoir is her own story and that of millions of others denied the chance to go to school.

She was shot by a Taliban gunman in her home region of Swat.

Malala Yousafzai and her family now live in the British city of Birmingham where she has been receiving treatment.

The book, titled I am Malala, is scheduled for publication in the autumn.

Malala Yousafzai has signed a book deal worth about $3 million

Malala Yousafzai has signed a book deal worth about $3 million

“I hope the book will reach people around the world, so they realize how difficult it is for some children to get access to education,” she said.

“I want to tell my story, but it will also be the story of 61 million children who can’t get education.

“I want it to be part of the campaign to give every boy and girl the right to go to school. It is their basic right.”

Publishers Weidenfeld and Nicolson say that her memoir will tell what happened on the day she was shot “and the inspiring story of her determination not be intimidated by extremists”.

The book will also be about the schoolgirl’s family, who “gave her remarkable courage”.

Malala Yousafzai writes in the memoir that Tuesday 9 October 2012 was “not the best of days as it was the middle of school exams – though as a bookish girl I don’t mind them as much as my friends do”.

At the time of the attack she was “squashed between friends and teachers on the benches of the open-back truck used as a school bus”.

The gunman walked onto the vehicle and shot her in the face at point-blank range.

Since the shooting and her recovery after treatment in Pakistan and the UK, Malala Yousafzai has received numerous peace awards around the world.

Her father has been appointed a UN educational advisor, and 12 July has been designated by the UN as Malala Day.

The Malala Fund, set up on behalf of her and her family, is dedicated to the education and empowerment of girls in Pakistan and around the world.

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Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot in the head by the Taliban, is now recovering after skull surgery in Birmingham.

Malala Yousafzai, 15, was attacked in October after campaigning for girls’ rights to education.

A bullet was removed from her head by surgeons in Pakistan, before she was flown to the UK for further treatment.

Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital said a titanium plate and cochlear implant were successfully attached in two operations on Saturday.

A spokesperson said she was continuing to recover and was in a stable condition after the surgery, which lasted five hours.

They said the medical team was “very pleased” with the progress Malala Yousafzai had made so far and that she was awake and talking to staff and members of her family.

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot in the head by the Taliban, is now recovering after skull surgery in Birmingham

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who was shot in the head by the Taliban, is now recovering after skull surgery in Birmingham

Malala Yousafzai had been discharged as an inpatient from the hospital in January after undergoing weeks of specialist treatment.

The Queen Elizabeth is also home to the Royal Centre for Defence Medicine, which has treated many of the injured servicemen and women returning from Afghanistan.

In December the president of Pakistan, Asif Ali Zardari, visited her at the hospital.

Malala Yousafzai’s family are currently living in the West Midlands.

Her father has been appointed education attaché at the Consulate of Pakistan for the next three years.

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Pakistani schoolgirl activist Malala Yousafzai will soon undergo skull surgery to repair a missing area.

Surgeons at Birmingham’s Queen Elizabeth Hospital have been giving details about two procedures due to be carried out on the 15-year-old.

Malala Yousafzai was discharged from the hospital earlier this month after being shot in the head by the Taliban in October.

The hospital said Malala Yousafzai’s surgery would take place in the next 10 days.

The first procedure will involve drilling into her skull and inserting a custom-made metal plate.

Doctors said Malala Yousafzai was completely deaf in her left ear after being shot at point blank range.

The shockwave destroyed her eardrum and the bones for hearing.

The second procedure will involve fitting a small electronic device that provides a sense of sound to someone who is profoundly deaf or severely hard of hearing.

Both procedures could take a total of four-and-a-half hours.

Dr. Dave Rosser, medical director at the QEHB, said: “Her recovery is remarkable and it’s a testament to her strength and desire to get better.

“There is no doubt that the surgery she underwent in Pakistan was life saving.

“Had that surgery not been of such a high standard she would have died.”

Pakistani schoolgirl activist Malala Yousafzai will soon undergo skull surgery to repair a missing area

Pakistani schoolgirl activist Malala Yousafzai will soon undergo skull surgery to repair a missing area

He added her full recovery could take another 15 to 18 months.

Dr. Dave Rosser said the missing part of Malala Yousafzai’s skull had been put in her abdomen by surgeons in Pakistan to “keep the bone alive”.

Doctors in Birmingham have chosen to use a metal plate to repair her skull instead of the bone in her abdomen, which they say may have shrunk.

Dr. Dave Rosser added Malala Yousafzai has asked to keep the bone once it has been removed.

Malala Yousafzai came to prominence when, as an 11-year-old, she wrote a diary for BBC Urdu, giving an account of how her school in Mingora town dealt with the Taliban’s 2009 edict to close girls’ schools.

Her love for education, and her courage in standing up to the Taliban, earned her a national peace award in 2011.

Tens of thousands of people have signed a petition calling for Malala Yousafzai to receive the Nobel Peace Prize.

The Pakistan government has given Malala’s father, Ziaududdin Yousafzai, a job in Birmingham as the education attaché at the Consulate of Pakistan for at least three years.

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Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban, has been discharged from Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham as an inpatient.

Malala Yousafzai, 15, was being treated at Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEHB) after being transferred following the attack in October.

She will continue her rehabilitation at her family’s temporary home in the West Midlands.

Malala Yousafzai will have cranial reconstruction surgery in late January or early February, the hospital’s trust said.

The Taliban said it shot Malala Yousafzai, a campaigner for girls’ education, for “promoting secularism”.

Doctors said the bullet grazed the teenager’s brain when it struck her just above her left eye in the incident in the Swat Valley in north-west Pakistan.

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban, has been discharged from Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham as an inpatient

Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl who was shot in the head by the Taliban, has been discharged from Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham as an inpatient

Over the past few weeks, Malala Yousafzai has been leaving the hospital on home visits to spend time with her father Ziauddin, mother Toorpekai and younger brothers, Khushal and Atul.

Dr. Dave Rosser, the medical director of University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, said: “Malala is a strong young woman and has worked hard with the people caring for her to make excellent progress in her recovery.

“Following discussions with Malala and her medical team, we decided that she would benefit from being at home with her parents and two brothers.”

Millions of Pakistan’s poorest families will get cash sums if their child attends school, in a scheme announced ahead of a day of action for Malala Yousafzai, the schoolgirl shot by the Taliban.

Under the scheme, funded by the World Bank and UK, families would reportedly get $2 a month per child in school.

The news came as the UN held “Malala Day”, in the name of Malala Yousufzai, 15, a Pakistani education campaigner.

She is recovering in the UK after she and two others were shot in October.

Saturday has been declared a global day of action in Malala’s name aimed at getting school places for 32 millions girls around the world who are not attending classes.

The Waseela-e-Taleem programme was announced in Islamabad by Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and special UN envoy for global education, Gordon Brown.

“Malala’s dreams represent what is best about Pakistan,” said Gordon Brown, the former UK prime minister.

Millions of Pakistan’s poorest families will get cash sums if their child attends school, in a scheme announced ahead of a day of action for Malala Yousafzai

Millions of Pakistan’s poorest families will get cash sums if their child attends school, in a scheme announced ahead of a day of action for Malala Yousafzai

The initiative aims to enroll three million of the poorest children in education in the next four years and, according to Reuters, will see poor families receive $2 a month per child in primary school.

The cash will be distributed through the government’s Benazir Income Support Programme, designed to give small cash payments to needy families.

Those in the programme already receive $10 a month for basic expenditure, Reuters reported.

Meanwhile, tens of thousands of people around the world have signed an online petition calling for Malala Yousafzai to be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The UK government has also been urged to back the campaign, with advocates saying she represents those denied an education.

Doctors in the UK city of Birmingham, where Malala Yousafzai is being treated, say she is making progress.

Malala Yousafzai and two other schoolgirls were attacked as they returned home from school in Mingora in the Swat Valley in north-west Pakistan on October 9th.

The gunman who boarded the van in which she was travelling asked for her by name before firing three shots at her.

In early 2009 she wrote an anonymous diary for BBC Urdu about life under the Taliban, who had banned all girls in her area from attending school.

 

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Malala Yousafzai, a 15-year-old education campaigner shot in the head by a Taliban gunman in Pakistan, has thanked people around the world for supporting her.

Malala Yousafzai was flown to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, after being shot on a school bus in October.

Her father Zianuddin Yousafzai said she wanted to thank well-wishers for helping her “survive and stay strong”.

Meanwhile, more than 60,000 people have signed a petition calling for Malala Yousafzai to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Doctors in Birmingham, where Malala Yousafzai has been receiving specialist treatment, have said she stands every chance of making a good recovery.

She had campaigned for the rights of girls to have an education and had written a diary for the BBC Urdu service when the Pakistan Taliban controlled her home area of Swat.

Since the attack, the teenager has received thousands of goodwill messages from around the world.

Malala Yousafzai wanted to thank well-wishers for helping her survive and stay strong

Malala Yousafzai wanted to thank well-wishers for helping her survive and stay strong

Zianuddin Yousafzai said in a statement issued by the hospital trust: “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.

“We deeply feel the heart-touching good wishes of the people across the world of all caste, color and creed.”

In the UK, Shahida Choudhary has begun a campaign calling for Malala Yousafzai to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

She said: “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. There are girls like Malala in the UK and across the world. I was one of them.

“I started this petition because a Nobel Peace Prize for Malala will send a clear message that the world is watching and will support those who stand up for the right of girls to get an education.”

Events are expected to take place around the world on Saturday to mark one month since Yousafzai Malala was shot.