Courage our network

Edward Snowden awarded Carl von Ossietzky medal

Announced on 14 October 2014, Awarded on 14 December 2014

Edward Snowden, Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald have been announced as the recipients of the 2014 Carl von Ossietzky medal. The Internationale Liga für Menschenrechte, founded in 1914, awards the prize at least once every two years to “people or groups who stand out for their exceptional courage and commitment to the realisation, defence and expansion of fundamental and human rights and peace.”

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Could Switzerland grant Edward Snowden safe passage?

Switzerland’s Attorney General has raised the possibility that Edward Snowden could testify about NSA surveillance in Switzerland – and apply for asylum there – without fear of onward extradition to the United States.

The written legal opinion, seen by Swiss newspapers le Matin Dimanche and Sonntags Zeitung, states there is no legal impediment to Mr Snowden being granted Swiss asylum but leaves open the possibility of “higher state obligations” taking priority. While those “higher state obligations” are left undefined, this is – on the face of it – a rather more positive response than inquiries seeking Mr Snowden’s participation in person have received elsewhere.

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Could Edward Snowden come to Germany?

Edward Snowden’s three-year Russian residency permit allows him to travel abroad for periods of up to three months. This new possibility has reopened debate on a topic that the German government has gone to some lengths to keep closed: could Edward Snowden come to Berlin to testify to the Bundestag inquiry?

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German Justice Minister roundly criticised for saying Edward Snowden should return to the US

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German Justice Minister Heiko Maas

In an interview published on Tuesday by the German press agency dpa, Germany’s Justice Minister Heiko Maas suggested that Edward Snowden’s best option would be to return to the US to face trial:

He is only in his early thirties and would definitely not want to spend the rest of his life being chased around the world or applying for one asylum after another.

Maas’ statement has been roundly criticised in Germany, where a majority of the population is in favour of granting Edward Snowden asylum. Opposition politicians, who are trying to arrange for Edward Snowden to testify to the ongoing Bundestag Committee of Inquiry into surveillance, have deemed Maas’ intervention as “cynical.” The German government has gone to considerable lengths to frustrate the desire of the Bundestag committee to receive Edward Snowden as a witness and the matter is likely to be challenged in Germany’s constitutional court.

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Help Edward Snowden to safety

Truthtellers should be protected, not persecuted or prosecuted. Edward Snowden’s safety lies in the hands of governments who have the power to make the offers of asylum he needs – but political leaders will not act unless they feel the popular pressure to do so. Here’s how we can show governments around the world that their citizens want a safe haven for Edward Snowden.

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