In our nomination we write:
In May 2013, whistle-blower Edward Joseph Snowden disclosed extensive classified information about USA mass surveillance programmes of private citizens, business and public sector communications worldwide. Programmes we can suspect are mirrored in most Member States. Snowden’s public revelation showed systematic and widespread violation of fundamental rights, notably freedom of expression and the right to privacy, by USA agency NSA, which triggered a ground breaking, global debate on issues of mass surveillance, government secrecy and information privacy.
For this heroic effort, Snowden is paying a heavy personal price; the US government hunts him as an outlaw, accusing him of crimes that will put him in jail for the rest of his life. Governments that dare to offer him asylum are threatened with dire consequences by the U.S. government. In a painful irony, his only sanctuary is Russia, a country with democratic problems and authoritarian tendencies.
To show that the European Parliament does not stand with surveillance of EU citizens, businesses and governments the PirateParty nominate Edward Snowden as the laureate for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought 2013.
Christian Engström, MEP & Amelia Andersdotter, MEP
Later this afternoon the Green Group in the European Parliament (where Amelia and I are independent members) will be discussing whom the group should nominate for the Sakharov Prize. Our hope is of course that the Green Group will decide to stand behind this nomination.
If that does not happen, we will instead have to collect at least 40 signatures from members of the European Parliament to get the nomination through. But in either case, Edward Snowden would be a very worthy recipient of the Sakharov Prize.