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Snowden Nominated for Sakharov Prize in European Parliament
On Monday, the European Parliament said in a statement that Edward Snowden was among the seven nominees for this year’s Sakharov prize. Considered as one of the highest recognitions for human rights work, previous Sakharov prize winners include people like Aung San Suu Kyi and Nelson Mandela.
Edward Snowden was nominated by the Greens, a pro-environment group. The statement from the European Parliament mentioned the Greens had nominated Snowden for the “enormous service” he had made for “human rights globally and for European citizens.”
The Greens said, “Edward Snowden has risked his freedom to help us protect ours and he deserves to be honored for shedding light on the systematic infringements of civil liberties by US and European secret services.”
The former U.S. National Security Agency contractor is currently living in asylum in Russia and has been charges with espionage in the U.S.
However, the favorite nominee for this year’s Sakharov prize seems to be 16-year-old Malala, the Pakistani schoolgirl who survived a Taliban assassination attempt last year. She has been nominated by three caucuses making her the most probable winner of the prize.
Other nominees for the Sakharov prize this year include jailed Ethiopian journalist Reeyot Alemu and Eskinder Nega, jailed former Russian oligarch and declared foe of Putin – Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and Belarus political prisoners Ales Belyatsky, Eduard Lobau and Mykola Statkevich.
The CNN Freedom Project, a global media campaign for raising awareness on human trafficking is also nominated for the Sakharov prize this year.
The prize winner is expected to be declared in October.