The debate in the United States continues over whether Edward Snowden is a whistleblower or a traitor. I previously wrote a column on that question. There appears to be less debate in Sweden where Snowden received standing ovations in the Swedish parliament after being given the Right Livelihood award for his disclosure of sweeping surveillance programs of the United States. The award honors Snowden “for his courage and skill in revealing the unprecedented extent of state surveillance violating basic democratic processes and constitutional rights”. This week, the new movie on Snowden also captured two more awards and critical acclaim.
Snowden appeared by video from Moscow and has left the prize in Sweden hoping that he will someday be allowed to travel personally to pick up the prize. His father however was in the chamber during the award ceremony. Many are hoping that Sweden or another West European country will grant Snowden asylum. Philanthropist Jakob von Uexküll, who established the award in 1980, raised this prospect in his speech when he added “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.”
Polls have shown that a majority of Americans share the view of Snowden as a whistleblower despite a concerted effort by the White House, intelligence community, and congressional leaders to the contrary.
Source: The Guardian