For the last 18 years, the winners have been announced in the press room of the Foreign Department in Stockholm. But when the Swedish foreign minister, Carl Bildt, recieved the information late last week that one of the five recipients this year is the American whistle blower Edward Snowden, he refused to allow the prize to be announced in the foreign departments building – despite a previous agreement, according to information to SVT.
Swedish foreign minister Carl Bildt is currently in the U.S. attending the United Nations, but in an interview with Swedish Television he denies that he personally took the decision of stopping the announcement in the press room.
”Will start discussions”
Foundation director Ole von Uexkull told the Associated Press (AP) that the ministry cited security concerns but added that he believed the decision was linked to the fact that Snowden was among the laureates. He said all winners have been invited to the Dec. 1 award ceremony in Stockholm, though he added it's unclear whether Snowden can attend.
– We will start discussions with the Swedish government and his lawyers in due course to discuss the potential arrangements for his participation, said von Uexkull.
Has been critized before
In May this year Carl Bildt was criticized since the Foreign Department refused to invite Edward Snowden to an international internet forum in Stockholm. Spokesmen from the foreign departement confirmed that Snowden was not invited, but insisted it hadn’t to do with any political positions.
The Right Livelihood Award goes to organizations or individuals for “outstanding visions and work on behalf of our planet and its people”.