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Snowden honoured with 'alternative Nobel'

Published:Thursday | September 25, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Edward Snowden

STOCKHOLM (AP): Edward Snowden was among the winners yesterday of a Swedish human-rights award, sometimes referred to as the "alternative Nobel", for his disclosures of top-secret surveillance programmes.

The decision to honour the former National Security Agency contractor with the Right Livelihood Award appeared to cause a diplomatic headache for Sweden's Foreign Ministry, which withdrew the prize jury's permission to use its media room for the announcement.

Snowden split the honorary portion of the award with Alan Rusbridger, editor of British newspaper The Guardian, which has published a series of articles on government surveillance based on documents leaked by Snowden.

The 1.5 million kronor (US$210,000) cash portion of the award was shared by Pakistani human-rights activist Asma Jahangir, Basil Fernando of the Asian Human Rights Commission and US environmentalist Bill McKibben.

Created in 1980, the annual Right Livelihood Award honours efforts that founder Jacob von Uexkull felt were being ignored by the Nobel Prizes.

Foundation director Ole von Uexkull, the award creator's nephew, said all winners have been invited to the December 1 award ceremony in Stockholm, though he added it's unclear whether Snowden can attend.