Edward Snowden receives Alternate Nobel Prize, Right Livelihood Award. The Right Livelihood Award is an international award to “honour and support those offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today”. He was honoured with human rights award. Snowden currently in exile in Russia received the award with standing ovation from the Swedish Parliament, as he was on video conferencing from Moscow.
The 2014 prize awarded to Mr Snowden was for “his courage and skill in revealing the unprecedented extent of state surveillance violating basic democratic processes and constitutional rights”. Edward Snowden award was not picked up by his family members on his behalf, as they believe one day he will be able to travel to Sweden to receive the award. Edward’s father present in the Swedish parliament chamber thanked for the award and members of the parliament in an emotional way on Dec 1, 2014
Philanthropist Jakob von Uexküll, who established the award in 1980 said “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.”.
Edward Snowden is wanted by the USA on charges under the Espionage Act. Snowden has settled in Russia since fleeing the US last year, when he leaked secret documents belonging to the National Security Agency (NSA) to the media. His revelations have sparked a debate in the US over the appropriate role of the NSA and the extent to which it should be authorised to conduct broad surveillance. The leaks have also caused diplomatic embarrassment to the US in its dealings with close allies in Europe such as Germany.
The Right Livelihood Award has previously been awarded to such people as Chinese solar power pioneer Huang Ming (2011) and a group of Israeli doctors who worked in the occupied Palestinian territories (2010).