US whistleblower Snowden nominated for EU’s human rights award

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US whistleblower Edward Snowden has been nominated for the EU’s top human rights award, worth €50.000.

A former US Security Agency employee, Snowden was shortlisted on Tuesday by the Greens in the European Parliament.

The nomination comes after he revealed earlier in June that the US government had been carrying out mass surveillance programmes on citizens and governments.

“The Greens-EFA is proud of having nominated Edward Snowden for the 2013 Sakharov Prize. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the prize, we think that this whistleblower incarnates the values of the prize. He listened to his conscience and stood up against oppression and state of exception, putting his life at risk for the benefit of the many.” said Greens-EFA MEP José Bové.

Snowden is one of the seven nominees for the Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought, whose past winners include Nobel Peace Prize Nelson Mandela.

Other candidates to the prize are a teenage Pakistani girl who has become a symbol for the right to education for women or the first man who protested against the violation of human rights by the Turkish government.

“With the Sakharov Prize, the EP has the opportunity to send an important signal to both the government of Turkey but much more importantly to all those people who stood peacefully in protest of violations of humans rights, such as the freedom of assembly, of the press, of speech, of the internet, of the rights of women, and of minorities.”, said Dutch ALDE MEP Marietje Schaake.

The award ceremony will take place in Strasbourg on November the 20th, after the European Parliament choses the winner later in October.

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