Edward Snowden, who at times has been described as the world’s most wanted man, will not be allowed safe passage to Norway to collect his Ossietzky prize, an award given out in November for “outstanding efforts for freedom of expression.”
After a five-month legal battle, a Norweigian court of appeals would not provide Snowden guarantees against extradition to the U.S., Reuters reported.
Snowden reacted to the news on Twitter.
The government of Norway is fighting to prevent presentation of a freedom of speech award. Talk about winning a battle instead of the war.
— Edward Snowden (@Snowden) September 28, 2016
“Sadly, this was not entirely unexpected,” Chairman William Nygaard of PEN Norway told Reuters. “We will of course appeal to the supreme court.”
The American whistleblower has been living exiled in Russia since his 2013 revelations of Western mass surveillance provoked a global uproar that continues to this day. Snowden faces the possibility of decades in an American prison or, as Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has suggested, the death penalty.
Snowden’s lawyers had argued that “his actions are political in nature, and this means that under Norwegian extradition laws, he cannot be extradited.”