Posts Tagged ‘Edward Snowden’

Edward Snowden can still not collect his award(s)

September 29, 2016

The Norwegian branch of the PEN Club had hoped to honor whistleblower Edward Snowden in Oslo, but a Norwegian court has dismissed a bid for assurances he would not be extradited should he visit Norway to collect the Carl von Ossietzky award which was granted to him in 2014 [see: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2014/12/15/edward-snowden-gets-another-human-rights-award-in-berlin/]. Read the rest of this entry »

Which heroes should we cast in bronze? Human rights defenders and their statues.

February 3, 2016

Some time back, 12 October 2015, Simon Bradley wrote for Swissinfo a piece on the question: “Which heroes should we cast in bronze?”. Indeed, statues celebrating dead generals, kings, artists and philosophers are found in public spaces around the world, but what about contemporary heroes, especially human rights defenders? I found a few cases where human rights defenders objected to a statue (think of the Confederate statue issue in the USA, or the protest against a statue of Sardar Vallabh Bhai Patellar on the Sardar Sarovar Dam in India – see: https://www.frontlinedefenders.org/node/24188), but the positive question of which human rights heroes should be honored and how is an interesting one. Bradley’s article and thus this post concern just Geneva. I wonder what other experiences exist in this area and would welcome contributions! Read the rest of this entry »

EU Parliament says Snowden is human rights defender

October 30, 2015

Media reported on the EU Parliament’s vote to drop criminal charges against Edward Snowden and to encourage members to block his extradition Read the rest of this entry »

5 June Stockholm: breakfast seminar on the importance of whistleblowers

May 27, 2015

Stockholm-based Civil Rights Defenders and Svenska PEN are organizing on 5 June 2015 a seminar where , Daniel Ellsberg, and Jesselyn Radack will talk about the importance of whistleblowers, how they are treated and what states and the international community need to do to improve their protection.

Mass surveillance, corruption and human rights violations are all issues that have been brought into light by whistle blowers. Protecting and supporting these individuals is important for any democratic state, but as history tragically has shown, this is not always the case. Today, a state’s treatment of whistle blowers can be considered a democratic litmus test – a way to measure how well-functioning its democracy is.

There is some ‘soft law’ on the protection of whistle blowers in the international arena, such as Resolution 1729 of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Draft Recommendation on the Protection of Whistleblowers adopted by the Committee of Ministers of 30 April 2014, and there is binding jurisprudence from the European Court for Human Rights (derived from article 10 and linked to the media), but there is no internationally binding definition of what is a whistleblower and his/her protection.

For earlier posts on this topic: https://thoolen.wordpress.com/tag/whistleblower/

The seminar (5 June from 9.00 – 10.00 am will latched place at Civil Rights Defenders, Stora Nygatan 26, and will be moderated by Ola Larsmo, chair Svenska PEN. The seminar will be conducted in English, and broadcasted live at Civil Rights Defenders’ Bambuser Channel. For more information, please contact Miriam Nordfors: miriam.nordfors@civilrightsdefenders.org

[More about the participants:

Thomas Drake is a former senior executive at the National Security Agency where he blew the whistle on massive multi-billion dollar fraud, waste and the widespread violations of the rights of citizens through secret mass surveillance programs after 9/11. As retaliation and reprisal, the Obama administration indicted Drake in 2010 as the first whistle blower since Daniel Ellsberg charged with espionage, and Drake faced 35 years in prison, turning him into an Enemy of the State for his oath to defend the Constitution. In 2011, the government’s case against him collapsed and he went free in a plea deal.

Daniel Ellsberg is a former U.S. military analyst who served in Vietnam, worked at the RAND Corporation, and then risked decades in prison to release the top-secret Pentagon Papers to The New York Times and other newspapers in 1971 — thereby adding impetus to the movement to end the Vietnam War. Although Ellsberg faced espionage and other felony charges, the case against him was dismissed because of egregious misconduct by the Nixon administration. Ellsberg has been a strong supporter of modern-day NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden and convicted Army whistle-blower Chelsea Manning. Daniel Ellsberg was awarded the Right Livelihood Award in 2006.

Jesselyn Radack is the director of National Security & Human Rights at the Government Accountability Project (GAP), the leading U.S. whistle blower organization. Her program focuses specifically on secrecy, surveillance, torture and discrimination. She has been at the forefront of defending against the government’s unprecedented “war on whistle blowers”. She represents national security and intelligence community employees who have been investigated, charged or prosecuted under the Espionage Act for allegedly mishandling classified information, including Edward Snowden. Radack is author of TRAITOR: The Whistleblower & the “American Taliban”.]

Civil Rights Defenders – Breakfast seminar on whistle blowers; their importance and the need for protection.

Meet the Right Livelihood Award laureates in Sweden, Norway, Germany and Switzerland

November 23, 2014

 

On 1 December, the 2014 Laureates – Basil Fernando, Asma Jahangir, Bill McKibben and Alan Rusbridger – will receive the Right Livelihood Awards [https://thoolen.wordpress.com/2014/09/25/snowden-and-asma-jahangir-among-recipients-2014-right-livelihood-award/]Edward Snowden, will not be able to participate in person. There may be a live video-link with him during the Award Ceremony streamed live on the homepage at 16.00 (CET).

During the week, the Laureates will participate in several public events in Sweden, Norway, Germany and Switzerland. The detailed programme with more information about registration for the events is available from the website, but I want to  highlight the following:

Human Rights Defenders in Asia:

 

 

 

On Friday, 28 November, Asma Jahangir (MEA Laureate 1995) and Basil Fernando will participate in a seminar on civic organisations’ contributions to Asian societies at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs. The seminar will be followed by a screening of the documentary “Unjust”, which is produced by the Basil Fernando’s organisation and features among others the story of murdered RLA Laureate Munir from Indonesia.

In Berlin on 27 November, Fernando will also speak about civil society’s involvement in Asia along with Maina Kiai, UN Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Assembly and Association.

 

On 2 December, Asma Jahangir will give the 7th Right Livelihood Award Lecture at the University of Zürich, organized by the Right Livelihood Award Foundation Switzerland.

 

 

 

CITIZENFOUR:

Laura Poitras’ documentary film CITIZENFOUR focuses on the encounters with Edward Snowden as he hands over classified documents providing evidence of mass surveillance by governments. The film will be screened on Saturday, 29 November at Södra Teatern in Stockholm.

The film is followed by a discussion with Daniel Ellsberg (2006 Laureate), Ewen MacAskill (The Guardian), Sarah Harrison (WikiLeaks), and Wolfgang Kaleck (European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights). Tickets are available for sale.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Democracy and the right to know: The digital world poses opportunities as well as challenges for today’s journalists. On Monday, 1 December, Alan Rusbridgerwill discuss responsible journalism and the public’s right to know with Peter Wolodarski (Dagens Nyheter) at the Swedish Institute of International Affairs in Stockholm.

via: http://rightlivelihood.org/newsl_november14.html

Snowden and Asma Jahangir among recipients 2014 Right Livelihood Award

September 25, 2014

Right Livelihood logoHonorary Awards goes to EDWARD SNOWDEN (USA) “for his courage and skill in revealing the unprecedented extent of state surveillance violating basic democratic processes and constitutional rights” and  ALAN RUSBRIDGER (UK) for building a global media organisation dedicated to responsible journalism in the public interest, undaunted by the challenges of exposing corporate and government malpractices”.

Three other Laureates will equally share the cash award of SEK 1.5 million:

ASMA JAHANGIR (Pakistan) “for defending, protecting and promoting human rights in Pakistan and more widely, often in very difficult and complex situations and at great personal risk”.

BASIL FERNANDO/ASIAN HUMAN RIGHTS COMMISSION (Hong Kong) “for his tireless and outstanding work to support and document the implementation of human rights in Asia”.

BILL McKIBBEN (USA) “for mobilising growing popular support in the USA and around the world for strong action to counter the threat of global climate change”.

The Foundation will also fund legal support for Edward Snowden.

Ole von Uexkull, Executive Director of the Right Livelihood Award Foundation, said: “This year’s Right Livelihood Laureates are stemming the tide of the most dangerous global trends. With this year’s Awards, we want to send a message of urgent warning that these trends – illegal mass surveillance of ordinary citizens, the violation of human and civil rights, violent manifestations of religious fundamentalism, and the decline of the planet’s life-supporting systems – are very much upon us already. If they are allowed to continue, and reinforce each other, they have the power to undermine the basis of civilised societies. But the Laureates also demonstrate that the choice is entirely in our hands: by courageous acts of civil disobedience in the public interest, through principled and undeterred journalism, by upholding the rule of law and documenting each violation of it, and by building social movements to resist the destruction of our natural environment, we can turn the tide and build our common future on the principles of freedom, justice, and respect for the Earth.

The Awards will be presented at a ceremony in the Swedish Parliament on December 1.

http://www.trueheroesfilms.org/thedigest/awards

 

Snowden alleges spy agencies have targeted human rights defenders

April 9, 2014

Edward Snowden, a former US intelligence contractor and whistleblower, made the allegations in a videoconference to PACE today.

Edward Snowden made the allegations in a videoconference to PACE today.© FREDERICK FLORIN/AFP/Getty Images

Former US intelligence contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden’s latest allegations point to a very real risk that human rights defenders have been the targets of mass surveillance by the US and British spy agencies. Snowden, who is living in exile in Moscow, made the remarks this afternoon, 8 April 2014, via a videoconference link to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg, France. When asked if the US National Security Agency (NSA) or its British counterpart Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) were actively spying on human rights organizations such as Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and others, he said: “Without question, yes, absolutely …The NSA has in fact specifically targeted the communications of either leaders or staff members in a number of purely civil or human rights organizations of the kind described”.

Read the rest of this entry »

Russia publishes report on human rights in the EU

January 17, 2014

On 14 January 2014 the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs published its report “On the situation with human rights in the European Union” (posted on the ministry’s website ) in which it claimed that the EU was struck by “serious human rights illnesses.” A large part of he report relies on information from international human rights organizations, such as AI. In the document the Russian Foreign Ministry Read the rest of this entry »

American Civil Liberties Union sees Snowden as a Human Rights Defender!

December 20, 2013

Whether Edward Snowden is a human rights defender or a criminal has been much debated and was also reported on in this blog. He was nominated for the European Parliament’s Sakharov Prize and received the Netizen’s award from the NGO Reporters without Borders. Now the highly respected American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), through its Executive Director Anthony Romero, has taken a clear stand and his article of 17 December 2013 is provided here in full:Snowden photo

Edward Snowden is a Patriot

Read the rest of this entry »

Malala collects another award: Sacharov; instead of Snowden

October 10, 2013

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(Malala Yousafzai during ceremony for the Amnesty International Ambassador of Conscience Award 2013 – (c) AFP/Peter Muhly)

On 5 October I reported that Malala got the RAW award – after receiving quite a few others (as seen above in the picture). Since yesterday she is also laureate of the European Parliament’s  Sacharov award, beating Edward Snowden and dissidents from Belarus. In the meantime the rumors are that she also gets the Nobel Peace Prize.