On October 10 the European Parliament will consider awarding the Sakharov Prize to Edward Snowden.

On October 10, the European Parliament will consider awarding the Sakharov Prize to Edward Snowden.

SUPPORT Freedom Of Thought.

“The Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, named after Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov, was established in December 1988 by the European Parliament as a means to honour individuals or organisations who have dedicated their lives to the defence of human rights and freedom of thought.”

PE-7/CPG/OJ/2013-17

CONFERENCE of PRESIDENTS

Thursday, 10 October 2013

10.00 to 12.00 hours

Louise WEISS Building, Room R 1.1

STRASBOURG

DRAFT AGENDA

  1. Adoption of draft agenda
  2. Approval of the draft minutes of the meeting of 3 October 2013
  3. Adoption of the preliminary draft agenda for the October II part-session (21 to 24 October 2013 in Strasbourg) – Scheduling of key debates in plenary
  4. Communications by the President

A. DECISIONS / EXCHANGES OF VIEWS

  1. Award of the 2013 Sakharov Prize – Nominations shortlisted by the Committees on Foreign Affairs and Development – Decision on final laureate

The Greatest Human Rights Challenge Of Our Time
By Edward Snowden
Sept. 30, 2013 hearing of the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice & Home Affairs. GAP National Security & Human Rights Director Jesselyn Radack reading NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden’s statement to the Committee.Transcript

I thank the European Parliament and the LIBE Committee for taking up the challenge of mass surveillance. The surveillance of whole populations, rather than individuals, threatens to be the greatest human rights challenge of our time.

The success of economies in developed nations relies increasingly on their creative output, and if that success is to continue, we must remember that creativity is the product of curiosity, which in turn is the product of privacy.A culture of secrecy has denied our societies the opportunity to determine the appropriate balance between the human right of privacy and the governmental interest in investigation.

These are not decisions that should be made for a people, but only by the people after full, informed, and fearless debate. Yet public debate is not possible without public knowledge, and in my country, the cost for one in my position of returning public knowledge to public hands has been persecution and exile.

If we are to enjoy such debates in the future, we cannot rely upon individual sacrifice. We must create better channels for people of conscience to inform not only trusted agents of government, but independent representatives of the public outside of government.

When I began my work, it was with the sole intention of making possible the debate we see occurring here in this body and in many other bodies around the world.

Today we see legislative bodies forming new committees, calling for investigations, and proposing new solutions for modern problems. We see emboldened courts that are no longer afraid to consider critical questions of national security.

We see brave executives remembering that if a public is prevented from knowing how they are being governed, the necessary result is that they are no longer self-governing. And we see the public reclaiming an equal seat at the table of government.

The work of a generation is beginning here, with your hearings, and you have the full measure of my gratitude and support.