National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, now a fugitive in Russia, has been nominated for the prestigious Sakharov Prize, an award for contributions to human rights.
The left-leaning Greens Party in the European Union parliament nominated Snowden, saying he had done an “enormous service” by disclosing the NSA surveillance programs.
"Edward Snowden has risked his freedom to help us protect ours and he deserves to be honored for shedding light on the systematic infringements of civil liberties by U.S. and European secret services," said Rebecca Harms and Dany Cohn-Bendit, leaders of the Greens.
Other nominees for the prize include Malala Yousufzai, the teenage Pakistani school girl who was shot by the Taliban on her way to class for promoting the education of young women, and Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a former Russian oil tycoon who criticized Russian President Vladimir Putin and was subsequently targeted for a host of supposed crimes.
Past winners of the prize include Nelson Mandela and Aung San Suu Kyi, the Burma opposition leader.
The Greens Party nomination for Snowden is not his first for an award. In July, Snowden was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, which critics at the time called “absurd.”
The winner of the Sakharov Prize will be chosen on Oct. 10.