Edward Snowden shortlisted for Sakharov prize

While the US government is attempting to cast Edward Snowden in the role of a traitor for exposing its abysmal treatment of its own citizens, in the EU he has been shortlisted for a top human rights award.

Snowden, the fugitive American former intelligence worker, has made the shortlist of three for Europe’s top human rights award – the Sakharov prize.

According to RTSnowden was nominated by Green politicians in the European Parliament for leaking details of US surveillance.

Other nominees also include Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager shot in the head for demanding education for girls. The third nominee is a group of Belarusian political dissidents jailed in 2010 for protesting against the disputed re-election of President Alexander Lukashenko. So, some tough competition from people who suffered for their stands for human rights.

Former recipients of the prize, awarded by the European Parliament, include Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi.

Snowden’s nomination recognised that his whistleblowing was an “enormous service” to human rights and European citizens, the parliament’s Green group said.

The Sakharov prize for freedom of thought is awarded annually in memory ofAndrei Sakharov, a Soviet scientist and dissident.  The winner of this year’s prize will be announced on 10 October.