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Edward Snowden is given a standing ovation as his father accepts the prize on his behalf. Photo: Pontus Lundahl / TT
Edward Snowden is given a standing ovation as his father accepts the prize on his behalf. Photo: Pontus Lundahl / TT

Snowden: "It's all been worth it"

American intelligence whistle-blower Edward Snowden was awarded his honourary Right Livelihood award Monday night, together with Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger.

Snowden was not present at the ceremony in Stockholm, however, but gave his acceptance speech via a live link to Moscow, where he is currently living. He was greeted by a long and warm round of applause before speaking. In his speech he thanked the journalists and activists that have helped him and who have also made huge sacrifices, he says.

"They have been worth it, all the prices we've paid, all the sacrifices we've made, I believe we would do again. I know I would do again", Snowden said. "This is about us, this is about our rights. This is about the kind of societies we want to live in, the kind of government we want to have, the kind of world that we want to make for the next generation. And when we talk about government, we need to think not only about the quality of the government, but also the relationship that we have with it. Are we going to be a subject of government, or will we be partner to it?"

Snowden had worked for the US intellligence agencies before leaking details of widespread online surveillance and wire-tapping by the US and British governments. He also called on the United Nations to propose new measures to protect individual privacy and human rights in his speech.

The Right Livelihood Prize is sometimes called the "alternative Nobel Prize". Three other prize winners, Pakistan's Asma Jahangir, Hong Kong's Basil Fernando and the Asian Human Rights Commission and the US' Bill McKibben and 350.org got to share the prize, and SEK 1.5 million.

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