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article imageEU Parliament names Snowden finalist for the 2013 Sakharov Prize

By Anne Sewell     Oct 1, 2013 in World
Brussels - The European Parliament has named Edward Snowden, NSA Whistleblower, a finalist for the coveted and prestigious international human rights award, the 2013 Sakharov Prize. Jesselyn Radack of GAP read a statement by Snowden to the EU Parliament on Monday.
Digital Journal recently reported that the EU Parliament had nominated Snowden for the award, but now he has been declared a finalist.
The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought is awarded annually in memory of Andrei Sakharov, a Soviet scientist and dissident.
The award is given to individuals who have distinguished themselves for outstanding contributions in the fight for human rights.
The Sakharov Prize has a tradition of laureates who have been incarcerated or even tortured. The first recipients awarded the prize in 1988 were Nelson Mandela and Anatoly Marchenko.
The final selection will be made on October 10, 2013 by leaders of the European Parliament political groups and by European Parliament president Martin Schulz.
The winner will be chosen from a short list of three, chosen by foreign affairs and development committees on September 30, 2013.
The finalists according to the EU Parliament website are Belarusian political prisoners Ales Bialatski, Eduard Lobau and Mykola Statkevich, US spying whistleblower Edward Snowden and Pakistani campaigner for girls' education Malala Yousafzai.
The award ceremony will take place in Strasbourg on November 20, 2013.
Beatrice Edwards, Executive and International Director of the Government Accountability Project (GAP) said in a press release:
"Being named a finalist for the Sakharov Prize befits Mr. Snowden."
"At tremendous personal cost, Snowden and Sakharov stood up to human-rights abuses by their own country against its own people and we salute them both."
Snowden's statement to the European Parliament:
On September 30, the European Parliament heard from Government Accountability Project (GAP) National Security & Human Rights Director Jesselyn Radack as part of its ongoing investigation into spying efforts by the United States and EU countries.
Radack read from a brief prepared statement from former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden which is included in the video below.
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