Sept. 17 - The European Parliament nominates fugitive intelligence analyst Edward Snowden for its prestigious human rights prize. Katharine Jackson reports.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) ROMANIAN MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT CORINA CRETU SAYING: "The nominations proposed by political groups or more than forty members are the following in alphabetical order." Past winners of the European Parliament's Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought include Nelson Mandela and Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi. This year, fugitive U.S. intelligence analyst Edward Snowden is one of seven nominees, announced in Brussels on Monday (September 16). (SOUNDBITE) (English) ROMANIAN MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT CORINA CRETU SAYING: "Edward Snowden, the American computer specialist and the former CIA NSA employee who released classified information about mass surveillance programmes of communication technologies." Snowden, who is in hiding in Russia, was nominated by the Greens in the European Parliament who said in a statement he had done an "enormous service for human rights" by disclosing secret American internet and telephone surveillance programs. Revelations that the U.S. National Security Agency monitors vast quantities of data of both Americans and foreigners and a report that Washington spied on the EU has caused outrage in European capitals. Russia granted the 30-year-old former data analyst a year's asylum last month. Washington wanted him sent home to face criminal charges, including espionage. The prize winner will be chosen by parliamentary leaders on October 10.