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Snowden Files Suit in Norway Court to Secure Travel for PEN Literary Award

© REUTERS / Svein Ove Ekornesvaag/NTB ScanpixA chair is pictured on stage as former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden.
A chair is pictured on stage as former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden. - Sputnik International
Former US intelligence contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden filed a petition with the Norwegian government to secure safe passage to claim an award for shedding light on government surveillance, the Norwegian PEN association of writers said in a statement Thursday.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) – The Norwegian PEN, part of the PEN International global association, awarded Snowden the Carl von Ossietzky prize for raising awareness and sparking debate over global government surveillance on March 7 this year.

"On behalf of Snowden and Norwegian PEN, Advokatfirmaet Schjodt has filed a petition to Oslo City Court in order to allow Snowden to travel to Norway without fear of extradition to the US, where he faces decades of imprisonment under the ‘Espionage Act’," the Norwegian PEN said.

Norwegian PEN invited Snowden to receive the award in Oslo on November 18, stressing at the time that it "will do our utmost to ensure that Snowden may receive the prize in person."

A picture taken on September 29, 2015 shows the Twitter account of former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. - Sputnik International
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Snowden has been awarded the von Ossietzky medal from the International League for Human Rights in Berlin on December 14, 2014.

Norway awarded the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor the Bjornson Prize last year.

In June 2013, Snowden leaked online classified information revealing global surveillance programs run by US intelligence services.

Snowden's revelations could cost him as much as 30 years in prison in the United States, where he is wanted on charges of espionage and theft of government property.

He resides in Russia on a residency permit.

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