The former NSA contractor Edward Snowden has received Wednesday the Right Livelihood Honorary Award – also known as the “Alternative Nobel Prize” – from the Stockholm-based Right Livelihood Award Foundation for his work on press freedom and “for his courage and skill in revealing the unprecedented extent of state surveillance violating basic democratic processes and constitutional rights.”
Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief of the British newspaper The Guardian with whom Snowden collaborated to publish what became known today as the Snowden revelations, also won the award for “responsible journalism in the public interest.
Both Snowden and Rusbridger are honorary winners, meaning they will not receive the award’s customary 500,000 kronor (54,500 euros) but the foundation said it would fund legal support for Snowden, who has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize to be announced later this year.
The Swiss attorney general has reportedly said earlier this month that Snowden could receive Swiss asylum if he opts to travel to Switzerland to testify against the National Security Agency.
The Right Livelihood Award was created in 1980 by German-Swedish philanthropist Jakob von Uexkull to “honour and support those offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today”.
Three other prize winners, named to receive the monetary award, are Pakistani human rights lawyer Asma Jahanger, Sri Lankan rights activist Basil Fernando and US environmentalist Bill McKibbben.