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article imageWhistleblower Edward Snowden gets 2014 Right Livelihood Award

By William Suphan     Dec 2, 2014 in World
Edward Snowden, who is in hiding after releasing information which showed the vast extent of the NSA's illegal wiretapping and over-reaching surveillance, received a human rights award in Sweden.
Currently living in exile in Russia, whistleblower Edward Snowden was the recipient of several standing ovations after he won Sweden's Right Livelihood Award. As reported by The Guardian, he was given this honor for his selfless work in revealing to the world how the NSA has been illegally collecting and recording phone calls, texts, emails, and other forms of communication on an exceptionally massive scale.
No one accepted the reward on his behalf, symbolizing the hope that he may someday regain his freedom and accept it himself.
Jakob von Uexküll, a philanthropist who started the Right Livelihood award, spoke before Parliament, saying, “So Mr Snowden, your Right Livelihood Award is waiting for you. We trust that Sweden will make it possible for you to collect your award here in Stockholm in person in the very near future.”
The U.S., despite the President's promises of transparency, has been hostile to whistleblowers and is pursuing charges against Snowden under the Espionage Act.
Members of the Green Party and other supporters have been trying to get Sweden or another European country to grant Snowden asylum.
Guardian editor Alan Ruspridger, who also received the award, said "One of the challenges Snowden poses for us is the recognition that there is no such thing as the public interest. No such thing as one single, monolithic interest that overrides all others."
During the emotional ceremony in the packed Parliament, Snowden's father, Lon said, "I am thankful for the support of the Right Livelihood award and the Swedish parliament. The award will remain here in expectation that some time – sooner or later – he will come to Stockholm to accept the award."
More about Nsa, whistleblowing, snowden, Sweden
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