Edward Snowden Receives Swedish Human Rights Award
By Claire Taylor
Edward Snowden, who remains the most wanted man in the United States and of almost every global hegemon in the world, was honored with an 'alternative Nobel'. He, together with Alans Rusbridger, editor of The Guardian received the 2014 Right Livelihood Honorary Award. This recognized his contribution of information on surveillance programs made by the American government.
The Swedish Charity, the Right Livelihood Award Foundation was founded in 1980 by Jacob von Uexkull, who felt the need honor efforts of people who he thought were neglected by the Nobel Peace Prize Committee; which Snowden has also been reportedly nominated for an award.
This year, it acknowledged his bravery in revealing state secrets particularly the privacy intrusion made that violates the "basic democratic processes and constitutional rights".
The current foundation director, Ole Von Uexkull announced that the ceremony is to be held on December 1st in Stockholm. All the winners have been invited, but it remains unclear whether Snowden can participate in said event. It also claims to deal with negotiations with the Swedish government and funds for legal support that Snowden needs, if he desires to attend.Although the Foreign Ministry cited security concerns, Uexkull believed that it had no-basis and was merely due to the fact that Edward Snowden was one of the recipients.
The thirty-one year old American computer specialist previously worked for the United States' top intelligence agencies, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA). He rose to popularity in May 2013 after leaking classified information to the press regarding mass surveillance of the United States and the United Kingdom.
This information included the interception of phone calls and internet surveillance programs. His disclosure was ranked among the most significant NSA security breaches in history, since WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.
After being charged with espionage and theft of government property, Snowden immediately fled the country to seek refuge on other states to escape imprisonment reaching to thirty years. In August this year, Snowden was granted a three-year asylum in Russia.