- Title: BELGIUM/FILE: Fugitive Snowden short-listed for European rights prize
- Date: 1st October 2013
- Summary: BRUSSELS, BELGIUM (RECENT) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT EU FLAG
- Embargoed: 16th October 2013 13:00
- Location: Belgium
- Country: Belgium
- Topics: International Relations,Politics
- Reuters ID: LVA3JFQEKKC6AHML2DQNI0582DZ8
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Fugitive U.S. intelligence analyst Edward Snowden has made the shortlist for a European human rights prize whose past winners include Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi.
Snowden was nominated for the Sakharov Prize by the Green group in the European Parliament for what it said was his "enormous service" to human rights and European citizens when he disclosed secret U.S. surveillance programmes.
Among the other nominees for the prize, to be announced on Oct. 10, is Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl shot in the head by the Taliban last year for demanding education for girls, and three Belarussian political prisoners, including the country's leading human right activist Alex Belyatsky.
Speaking after announcing the shortlist in parliament, the chairwoman of the parliament's human rights committee said the three finalists represented a broad range of human right activists.
"Well, we have a very good selection of people who all stand up for human rights for themselves, but also for others, and now with the shortlist we have a very broad range, you see, a courageous woman from Pakistan Malala, who stood up for her rights and the rights for other girls for the right to education, we have Mr Belyatski and colleagues from Belarus who fight an authoritarian regime and we have Edward Snowden from the United States who stands up for the right of information. So, I think it is quite a broad variety," said Barbara Lochbihler, the chairwoman of the European Parliament's sub-committee on human rights.
The Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought is given by the European Parliament each year since 1988 to commemorate Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov One of the recipients of last year's prize, Iranian lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh, was released from jail this month in what was seen as part of a move by a new government to present a less hardline stance on dissenters.
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