Snowden Nominated for Coveted Human Rights Prize

In running for Europe's Sakharov Prize
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 17, 2013 12:43 PM CDT
Snowden Nominated for Coveted Human Rights Prize
This photo, taken June 9, 2013, in Hong Kong, provided by The Guardian Newspaper in London shows Edward Snowden.   (AP Photo/The Guardian)

Past winners of the Sakharov Prize, a human rights prize for freedom of thought, include Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi—and soon Edward Snowden could join their ranks. The NSA leaker is one of seven nominees for the prize this year after getting a nod from the Greens in the European Parliament, Reuters reports. "Edward Snowden has risked his freedom to help us protect ours and he deserves to be honored for shedding light on the systematic infringements of civil liberties by US and European secret services," say the leaders of the left-leaning party in a statement.

Also nominated, per UPI: Malala Yousafzai, who was shot by the Taliban in Pakistan for her education activism; Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a jailed former oil tycoon from Russia who has criticized Vladimir Putin; two Ethiopian journalists imprisoned for criticizing their government; three Belarusian dissidents jailed for protesting election fraud; and Erdem Gunduz, who helped spark protests in Turkey. A shortlist will be chosen by September 30, and parliamentary leaders will name the winner on October 10. (Read more Edward Snowden stories.)

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