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Edward Snowden awarded 2014 Ridenhour Prize for Truth-telling

Announced on 7 April 2014, awarded on 30 April 2014

Edward Snowden and Laura Poitras were named as joint winners of the 2014 Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling on 7 April 2014. The awards committee explained that  “We have selected Edward Snowden and Laura Poitras for their efforts to expose the NSA’s illegal and unconstitutional bulk collection of the communications of millions of people living in the United States. Their act of courage was undertaken at great personal risk and has sparked a critical and transformative debate about mass surveillance in a country where privacy is considered a constitutionally-protected right.”

Both winners spoke at the Ridenhour awards ceremony on 30 April 2014, by video link from Moscow and Berlin respectively, in a discussion moderated by James Bamford. Footage follows below, along with a full transcript.

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Video: Edward Snowden receives Sam Adams Award

Originally posted 11 October 2013 on WikiLeaks

Six video clips of Edward Snowden receiving the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence have been released by WikiLeaks. The award was presented to him by ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.

In the videos Snowden comments: “People all over the world are realising that these [surveillance] programs don’t make us more safe. They hurt our economy, they hurt our country, they limit our ability to speak and think and live and be creative; to have relationships, to associate freely.”

He continues: “We have an executive of the Department of Justice that’s unwilling to prosecute high officials who lied to Congress and the country on camera, but they’ll stop at nothing to persecute someone who told them the truth. And that’s a fundamentally dangerous thing to democracy.”

Watch the videos here:

Edward Snowden receives Sam Adams Award for Integrity

Presented on 9 October 2013 in Moscow

Edward Snowden was presented with the Sam Adams Award this Wednesday in Moscow. The award was given to him by US whistleblowers Thomas Drake, Jesselyn Radack, Coleen Rowley and Ray McGovern. The award recognises integrity in the intelligence community, represented by a candlestick “for someone who has shone bright light into dark corners”.

McGovern commented: “He’s convinced that what he did was right. He has no regrets. And he’s willing to face whatever the future holds for him.”

Radack noted that, despite it being a dangerous time for whistleblowers in the US, more and more continue speaking out.

Read more: ‘US unchained itself from constitution’: Whistleblowers on RT after secret Snowden meeting

Brazilian Press Association: International Human Rights Award

Announced on 17 September 2013, awarded on 20 September 2013

Edward Snowden was named joint recipient of the Brazilian Press Association’s Human Rights Medal for services to humanity, the right of citizenship and the right to information. The other awardees were Julian Assange, Glenn Greenwald, Bradley Manning, the late Aaron Swartz and Mordechai Vanunu.

The Association gave the award to Snowden as he is “determined to provide utility service to humanity”.

Read more: ABI homenageia defensores da liberdade de imprensa e de informação

Nominations for Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought

Nominated on 16 September 2013 and 10 September 2015

Edward Snowden has the distinction of being nominated for the European Parliament’s prestigious Sakharov Prize in two separate years.

On 16 September 2013 it was announced that Edward Snowden was one of seven nominees for the 2013 Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought. The Sakharov Prize is awarded annually by the European Parliament to honour individuals and organisations for their efforts on behalf of human rights and fundamental freedoms. Snowden was nominated by the Greens/EFA group and the GUE/NGL group.

Under the auspices of the European Parliament, the EU Foreign Affairs and Development Committees and the Human Rights Subcommittee another vote was taken on 30 September, to create a shortlist of three of the nominees. Edward Snowden was one of the three shortlisted nominees, along with Malala Yousafzai and Belarusian activists.

Although the prize was eventually given to Malala on 10 October 2013, Snowden received huge support to win the prize, including a letter written on 9 October by 23 European organisations. The open letter stated that these organisations supported the nomination of Snowden due to his revelations having “triggered a necessary and long-overdue public debate in the United States and beyond about the accepted boundaries of surveillance in a democratic state”.

Edward Snowden was nominated for the 2015 Sakharov Prize, alongside fellow whistleblowers Antoine Deltour and Stéphanie Gibould and others on 10 September 2015. Saudi dissident Raif Badawi was announced as the winner of the prize on 29 October.

Transparency International Germany: Whistleblower Prize

Awarded on 30 August 2013 in Berlin

On 25 July, Edward Snowden was given the German Transparency International Whistleblower Award for 2013. The award ceremony took place on 30 August in Berlin where Jacob Appelbaum read an acceptance speech from Snowden.

The award, given by Transparency International, the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA) and the Association of German Scientists (Vereinigung Deutscher Wissenshaftler or VDW), comes with a prize of €3,000.

“His courageous deed gave the world community insight into the surveillance and espionage activities of our secret services,” wrote Transparency International as the group’s motivation for the award.

Snowden awarded the Sam Adams Award

Awarded on 8 July 2013

Edward Snowden was awarded the Sam Adams Integrity Award on 8 July 2013. The Sam Adams Associates praised him for his decision to reveal the extent of mass surveillance by the NSA.

Thomas Drake, himself a former NSA senior executive and whistleblower, called Snowden’s actions “an amazingly brave act of civil disobedience”.

The Sam Adams Associates are a group of former intelligence officers turned whistleblowers and previous award-winners include Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning.