Norwegian PEN Awards Edward Snowden Ossietzky Prize

Norwegian PEN invites Edward Snowden to Oslo to receive the award at University of Oslo on Friday 18 November and will work to ensure that he is present during the award ceremony.

Ossietzky price is Norwegian PEN award for outstanding contribution to freedom of expression.   The prize is awarded annually to a person or institution that over time, or in connection with a particular issue or event, with a particular effort for freedom of expression. Awardee should have a connection to Norway, personally or in connection with the present case. 

Norwegian PEN wrote that Edward Snow’s revelations represents one of the most important events in international politics in recent years and a serious crisis of legitimacy in foreign and security policy. 

The organziation also noted that this year’s Ossietzky Prize laureate has risked his career to notify the US government’s surveillance activities. He received Bjornson price in September 2015 for his work to privacy, and to shed a critical spotlight on states ’illegal surveillance of all citizens and others. 

From Ossietzky to Snowden 

Norwegian PEN Ossietzky Price is named after and dedicated to Carl von Ossietzky. Carl von Ossietzky (3 October 1889 – 4 May 1938) was a German pacifist and the recipient of the 1935 Nobel Peace Prize for his work in exposing the clandestine German re-armament. He was convicted of high treason and espionage in 1931 after publishing details of Germany’s violation of the Treaty of Versailles by rebuilding an air force, the predecessor of the Luftwaffe, and training pilots in the Soviet Union. 

He was awarded Nobel Peace Prize 80 years ago. Ossietzky revealed how German authorities ran secret rearmament in violation of the Versaille Treaty. 

During the award ceremony of the Nobel Peace Prize in 1936 Carl von Ossietzky could not come to Oslo because German authorities refused him flying. 

PEN believes that like the Carl von Ossietzky, Edward Snowden has contributed to democratic openness with his revelations.

Norwegian PEN asks the Norwegian Government to ensure that Edward Snowden may receive his award in Norway by guaranteeing that he will not be extradited to the United States. 


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