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Snowden Wins Whistleblower Award
Snowden Wins Whistleblower Award
by Stephen Lendman
In America, he's a wanted man. He's a fugitive. He's a world hero. He connected the dots for millions. He told people what they need to know.
Doing the right thing is its own reward. Transparency International Germany gave him its Whistleblower Award. He's "(t)his year's winner," it said.
In 1999, it was established. It's sponsored by the Association of German Scientists (VDW) and the German branch of the International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA).
He'll receive 3,300 euros (about $4,400). He's seeking Russian asylum. Since June 23, he's been in Moscow limbo. He's living in Sheremetyevo Airport's transit zone.
He awaits provisional documents to enter Russia. They're expected soon. Perhaps today. He'll be allowed to travel freely.
Processing asylum takes take about three months. He's expected to get it. Moscow rejects Washington's extradition request. No treaty obligation exists.
America spurned numerous legitimate Russian requests. It's payback time. It's justifiable.
Snowden may stay in Russia permanently. Petitioning for it is renewable annually on request.
Russia's relatively safe. It's risky to travel. He won't chance it. He's wise not to.
According to Russian human rights lawyer Anatoly Kucherena:
"It’s hard for me to say what his actions would be in terms of a positive decision (on the asylum request)."
"We must understand that security is the number one issue in his case."
"I think the process of adaptation will take some time. It’s an understandable process as he doesn’t know the Russian language, our customs, and our laws."
"He’s planning to arrange his life here. He plans to get a job. And, I think, that all his further decisions will be made considering the situation he found himself in."
His reasons are justifiable. They "deserve attention," said Kucherena.
"He fears for his health and his life. He's afraid that if he'll be handed to the US, torture can be used against him down to death penalty."
If his asylum plea is denied, he'll "go to court and appeal against the decision of the Federal Migration Service."
"He intends to do so. During our meeting, our dialogues, and our consultations, he made detailed inquiries on those procedures. And I informed him of what possibilities he has according to Russian law."
His request for free movement is close to finalizing. He could get it today. He'll be able to live anywhere in Russia. He can travel freely.
He'll have "the same rights and freedoms" as Russian citizens.
On July 24, Itar Tass headlined "Migration Service keeps silent on possible issue of certificate enabling Snowden to stay in Russia."
"The Federal Migration Service has not commented the information alleging the issue of a certificate to former CIA employee Edward Snowden enabling him to stay in Russia."
"Earlier, lawyer Anatoly Kucherena did not rule out that Snowden could leave the transit zone of the Sheremetyevo airport on July 24, which is the deadline for review of the documents submitted by Snowden to the Federal Migration Service a week ago."
"The certificate in question grants the right to stay in Russia for the period of consideration of his request for temporary asylum."
" 'We don't comment this information,' an FMS official told Itar-Tass. The decision on granting temporary asylum to Snowden should be made within three months from the application date."
"The procedure of submitting the application includes an interview, filling a form, fingerprinting and mandatory medical check."
If approved as expected, Showden may remain in Russia for a year. He can stay permanently. Annually renewing his request permits it.
Perhaps he'll become a Russian citizen. He left America knowing he'll never return. Not voluntarily for sure.
A Final Comment
On July 19, the International Peace Bureau (IPB) gave Bradley Manning its 2013 Sean MacBride Peace Award. IPB
A petition supporting him for the Nobel Peace Prize has nearly 90,000 signatures. Over 100,000 is hoped for. Anyone can sign and add comments at ManningNobel.org.
IPB represents 320 organizations in 70 countries. Its Sean MacBride prize has been awarded annually since 1992. It given to deserving individuals or organizations for their outstanding work for peace, disarmament and human rights.
On September 14, it's formally presented in Stockholm.
IPB's Co-President Tomas Magnusson said the following:
"IPB believes that among the very highest moral duties of a citizen is to make known war crimes and crimes against humanity."
"This is within the broad meaning of the Nuremberg Principles enunciated at the end of the Second World War."
"When Manning revealed to the world the crimes being committed by the US military he did so as an act of obedience to this high moral duty."
"It is for this reason too that Manning has also been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize."
"In more general terms, it is well known that war operations, and especially illegal ones, are frequently conducted under the cover of secrecy."
"To penetrate this wall of secrecy by revealing information that should be accessible to all is an important contribution to the struggle against war, and acts as a challenge to the military system which dominates both the economy and society in today’s world."
"IPB believes that whistleblowers are vital in upholding democracies - especially in the area of defense and security."
"A heavy sentence for Manning would not only be unjust but would also have very negative effects on the right to freedom of expression which the US claims to uphold."
Former Nobel Peace Prize recipient Mairead Maguire said:
"I have chosen to nominate US Army Pfc Bradley Manning, for I can think of no one more deserving."
"His incredible disclosure of secret documents to Wikileaks helped end the Iraq War, and may have helped prevent further conflicts elsewhere."
He's nominated for the 2013 award. Others nominated Snowden for the 2014 one. This year's nominating period ended in February.
Stephen Lendman lives in Chicago. He can be reached at lendmanstephen [at] sbcglobal.net.
His new book is titled "Banker Occupation: Waging Financial War on Humanity."
Visit his blog site at sjlendman.blogspot.com.
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