Snowden, Greenwald, And Poitras Receive Prestigious Human Rights Award In Berlin

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor

220px-Edward_Snowden-2In another showing of international support for the activities in revealing to the public the abuses of the NSA, whistleblower Edward Snowden, journalist Glenn Greenwald and filmmaker Laura Poitras each received the Carl von Ossietzky award in Berlin today.

The award is bestowed to honor those who exhibit extraordinary civic courage or commitment to the spread or defense of human rights.

220px-Glenn_greenwald_portraitThe international League for Human Rights in Berlin awarded this year’s prize to Snowden for a “momentous decision of conscience … to put [his] personal freedom on the line” to expose the “abuse of power” exercised by the US and Germany. On behalf of Snowden, who is barred from entering Germany, and Greenwald, Poitras accepted the award for the three civil rights activists.

laura-poitrasSeveral speakers posted honors to the three. Deutsche Welle reported the speeches were given honoring the work of Snowden, Greenwald and Poitras, including one from former federal Interior Minister Gerhart Baum and human rights lawyer Wolfgang Kaleck, who represents Snowden. Baum spoke of how the Snowden had “opened our eyes to the largest intelligence surveillance scandal I know.”

The von Ossietzky medal is named after the German Nobel Peace Prize-winning journalist who spoke out actively against the Nazi regime. He died as a result of internment in the concentration camp where he was held, after being convicted of high treason. It was he who exposed Germany’s violation of the Treaty of Versailles through its re-militarization under Adolf Hitler.

By Darren Smith


Deutsche Welle

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