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    Edward Snowden talks with Jane Mayer via satellite at the 15th Annual New Yorker Festival on Saturday, Oct. 11, 2014 in New York

    Snowden Not Free to Accept Freedom Award After Norway Denies Entry

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    Norway has denied entry to US whistleblower Edward Snowden, who was earlier awarded with a Norwegian prize for freedom of expression; the government said that while in Norway, Snowden may be at risk of arrest.

    The Norwegian government has refused to give the green light to former NSA contractor Edward Snowden entering Norway, where he was due to be personally awarded with the country's prize for freedom of expression; the authorities warned that while in Norway, he may face arrest and extradition to the United States, according to the news website the Local.

    In a letter to the Norwegian Academy of Literature and Freedom of Expression earlier this week, the country's Justice Minister Anders Anundsen said "no" to a request to waive passport requirements for Snowden. 

    Also, he confirmed that Snowden risked being extradited to the United States, which is seeking to prosecute him for espionage.

    "If the courts have concluded that the conditions for extradition are fulfilled, the ministry will decide that the request for extradition will be granted," Anundsen wrote in a letter.

    The letter came after the Academy asked Anundsen and Prime Minister Erna Solberg last month to take all necessary actions to allow Snowden to come to Norway and pick up the prize during the awards ceremony due in September.

    Anundsen, for his part, argued that that the passport requirements could only be scrapped for matters of national interest or security.

    In early June, the Norwegian Academy of Literature and Freedom of Expression announced that Snowden had won the Bjornson Prize, named after a Norwegian Nobel literature laureate, "for his work protecting privacy and for shining a critical light on US surveillance of its citizens and others."

    A former analyst at the US National Security Agency, Snowden has been living in exile in Russia since 2013 after disclosing information about mass spying programs by the United States and its allies.

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    Tags:
    prize, letter, freedom, authorities, espionage, Norwegian Academy of Literature and Freedom of Expression, Edward Snowden, Norway
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