In the week that Edward Snowden’s disclosures prompted the first rollback of US surveillance powers since the passage of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act in 1978, the NSA whistleblower has been announced as the winner of Norway’s prestigious Bjørnson Prize.
Originally published by the Right Livelihood Award Foundation, 25 September 2014
Being named recipient of the Right Livelihood Award for my work in revealing the global system of mass surveillance that’s monitoring all of us in secret without the consent of the public is a vindication, I think, not just of myself but of everyone who came before me to raise awareness about these issues.
Announced on 5 May 2014, awarded on 22 June 2014
Edward Snowden has been named as the first recipient of the Berliner Prize for Civic Courage, which recognises his “courageous advocacy of democracy and civil rights.” Mr Snowden has said he is “very honoured” to have been chosen for the Prize, which was formally awarded at a public ceremony in Berlin on 22 June 2014, the day after his birthday. Courage Acting Director Sarah Harrison accepted the award on Mr Snowden’s behalf.
The Pulitzer Board has awarded the prestigious Public Service award to the Guardian and Washington Post for their reporting on Edward Snowden’s revelations. The decision, which had reportedly been the subject of some controversy among the 19-member Prize Board, echoes 1972 prize, given to the New York Post for reporting the Pentagon Papers.
Jesselyn Radack, National Security and Human Rights Director of the Government Accountability Project, visited Edward Snowden last week in order to present him with the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence, alongside three other whistleblowers. In an article in The Nation, Radack detailed her visit with Snowden, her concerns about travelling and the award he was given.
On meeting with Snowden, Radack writes: “Given the extraordinary circumstances and pressure he’s under, Snowden is doing remarkably well. He’s warm and engaged, greeting us with long embraces. His is well-grounded, centered, and has a quick sense of humor, darkly joking that if he were a spy, Russia treats its spies much better than leaving them trapped in the Sheremetyevo transit zone for over a month. He is brilliant, humble and idealistic – in the best sense of the word.”
She also discusses the importance of his safety and security: “The issue of his security is paramount. Russia granted him asylum and clearly has an interest in protecting its refugee. Attorney-General Eric Holder stated that the United States would not torture him if he returned, hardly a salutary promise. Senator Dianne Feinstein accused him of treason – an act punishable by death. And last week, former NSA and CIA director Michael Hayden and House Intelligence Committee chairman Mike Rogers joked about putting Snowden on the ‘kill list’ for assassination.”
Jesselyn Radack’s full article: My Visit With Edward Snowden
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: http://wikileaks.org/Video-Edward-Snowden-wins-Sam.html
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.