STOCKHOLM: Pakistani human rights activist Asma Jahangir and Edward Snowden are among the winners Wednesday of a Swedish human rights award, sometimes referred to as the “alternative Nobel.”
The 1.5 million kronor ($210,000) cash award was shared by Jahangir, Basil Fernando of the Asian Human Rights Commission and US environmentalist Bill McKibben.
The former National Security Agency contractor, who was honoured for his disclosures of top secret surveillance programs. split the honorary portion of the 2014 Right Livelihood Award with Alan Rusbridger, editor of British newspaper The Guardian, which has published a series of articles on government surveillance based on documents leaked by Snowden.
Created in 1980, the annual Right Livelihood Award honours efforts that prize founder Jacob von Uexkull felt were being ignored by the Nobel Prizes.
The prize is awarded annually “to honour and support those offering practical and exemplary answers to the most urgent challenges facing us today”, according to the foundation.
As an honorary award winner, Snowden, would not receive the customary 500,000 kronor ($70,000) prize money, but the foundation said it would “fund legal support for him” without disclosing the amount.