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CONTACT: Transparency Groups:
Prof. Dr. Edda Müller, Chair
Whistleblower Award to Edward Snowden
BERLIN - July 26 - This year's Whistleblower Award goes to the American Edward J. Snowden.
An insider, he publicized the massive, hidden surveillance of communications data by Western secret services. People who, in the public interest, are revealing major grievances and dangerous developments for individuals and society, for peace and the environment, are worthy recipients of the Whistleblower Prize.
Since 1999 the Whistleblower Prize is awarded bi-annually by the German chapter of International Association of Lawyers Against Nuclear Arms (IALANA) and the Federation of German Scientists (FGS, the German Pugwash group). The prize money is 3000 Euros. The previous winners include, among others, Rainer Moormann (2011: Risks of pebble bed reactors), Rudolf Schmenger / Frank Wehrheim (2009: tax inspectors in
Frankfurt) and Brigitte Heinisch (2007: Berlin geriatric nurse). This year, for the first time, the anti-corruption organization Transparency
International, Germany is involved in the Whistleblower Prize.
In the view of the jury, the revelations of Edward J. Snowden leave no choice but to thoroughly check the facts and the state of the evidence. On this basis, the actions and processes by domestic and foreign authorities of the secret services revealed by Snowden need to be examined. The guiding question is if, and if so in what form, the governing law has been breached.
Based on current information, Article 10 of the Basic Law as well as the G10-law (regulating compliance of intelligence services with Article 10) have been violated. By publicizing the information, Edward Snowden accepted major disadvantages knowing of the prosecution of whistleblowers in the security industry.
Hartmut Grassl of the Federation of German Scientists stated: “an open society needs civil courage and courageous people like Edward Snowden in order to uncover and stop abuses.” German IALANA’s Otto Jaeckel said:
”Who could be more suitable to grant asylum to a US citizen being persecuted than the country which has been spied upon as heavily as Germany? Nevertheless, the whole EU has to act. Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing did a great service to Germany and the other EU member states. Therefore we should compete to grant him asylum: from conviction, but also out of gratitude.”
Edda Müller, Chair of Transparency Germany stated: “We owe a great debt to Edward Snowden: his courageous actions must have consequences.
International treaties limiting the sovereignty of Germany must be changed.
Furthermore, Great Britain as a member state of the European Union must explain very clearly in Brussels its position on the basic rights of EU citizens. And finally, Germany needs to ensure adequate protection of whistleblowers through appropriate legal regulations.”