BRUSSELS — Fugitive US intelligence analyst Edward Snowden is in the running for a European human rights prize whose past winners include Nelson Mandela and Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
Mr Snowden‚ who is in hiding in Russia‚ is one of seven nominations made by members of the European Parliament for the Sakharov Prize for freedom of thought‚ a move likely to upset Washington‚ which wants to try him on espionage charges.
Mr Snowden was nominated by the Greens in the European Parliament who said he had done an "enormous service” for human rights and European citizens by disclosing secret US internet and telephone surveillance.
"Edward Snowden has risked his freedom to help us protect ours and he deserves to be honoured for shedding light on the systematic infringements of civil liberties by US and European secret services‚” Greens leaders Rebecca Harms and Dany Cohn-Bendit said in a statement.
The other nominees for the prize include Malala Yousafzai‚ the Pakistani girl shot in the head by the Taliban last year for demanding education for girls‚ and Russian former oil tycoon Mikhail Khodorkovsky.
The European parliament’s committees will vote on a short list of three finalists on September 30. The winner will be chosen by parliamentary leaders on October 10. - Reuters