Whistleblower Edward Snowden received several standing ovations in the Swedish parliament after being given the Right Livelihood award for his revelations of the scale of state surveillance.
Snowden – who is in exile in Russia – addressed the parliament by video from Moscow. In a symbolic gesture his family and supporters said no one picked up the award on his behalf – in the hope that one day he might be free to travel to Sweden to receive it in person.
His father Lon who was in the chamber for what was an emotional ceremony said: ‘I am thankful for the support of the Right Livelihood award and the Swedish parliament. The award will remain here in expectation that some time – sooner or later – he will come to Stockholm to accept the award’.
Snowden is wanted by the US on charges under the Espionage Act. His chances of a deal with the US justice department that would allow him to return home are slim and he may end up spending the rest of his days in Russia.
His supporters hope that a west European country such as Sweden might grant him asylum. Members of the Green party called for him to be given sanctuary in Sweden.