Norwegian freedom of speech group postpones Snowden award ceremony

The Norwegian branch of writers' group PEN postponed an award ceremony for Edward Snowden on Tuesday amid legal efforts to secure assurances he would not be extradited to the United States should he visit Norway.

Snowden was awarded the 2016 Ossietzky Prize from Norway's PEN Centre for outstanding efforts for freedom of expression. PEN invited Snowden to attend a November 18 ceremony to accept the award.

Norwegian PEN president William Nygaard said the group has decided to appeal to the Supreme Court after two lower courts have said they could not rule on a petition seeking Snowden's safe passage to Oslo.

Due to the pending legal process, PEN decided to postpone the award ceremony from November until June, Nygaard added.

Snowden, who has asylum in Russia, is wanted by the US government on espionage charges for exposing extensive telephone and internet data collection programmes used by the National Security Agency (NSA).

Last year, Snowden won another Norwegian freedom of speech award, the Bjornson Prize. He addressed that award ceremony via video. 

Last update: Tue, 11/10/2016 - 18:57

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