Accepting Whistleblower Prize, Snowden Declares 'This Belongs to the Public'

Accepting the prestigious German whistleblower prize, Edward Snowden declared in a statement, read by internet activist and journalist Jacob Appelbaum at an acceptance ceremony over the weekend, that it is not he—but the public—who deserves the “greater reward and recognition.”

“[This] belongs to the individuals and organizations in countless countries around the world who shattered boundaries of language and geography to stand together in defense of the public right to know and the value of our privacy,” the statement reads.

The award, granted every two years since 1999 by the Federation of German Scientists, the International Association Of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms, and Transparency International, honors individuals who “reveal major grievances and dangerous developments for individuals and society, for peace and the environment in the public interest.”

“[A]n open society needs civil courage and courageous people like Edward Snowden in order to uncover and stop abuses,” stated Hartmut Grassl of the Federation of German Scientists.

Supporters and colleagues flooded Snowden with praise as he received the award. “If I ran the committee, making the choice of who was to receive this award, it would take me probably one and a half seconds at most to have come to the conclusion that he is the only person deserving of the award this year,” declared journalist Glenn Greenwald in a video statement released Saturday.