Fugitive US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden and Alan Rusbridger, editor of the Guardian newspaper, were named honorary co-winners on Wednesday of the 2014 Right Livelihood Award.
Snowden, who currently has asylum in Russia, is wanted by the US government on espionage charges over exposing extensive telephone and internet data-collection programmes used by the US National Security Agency (NSA).
He was recognized for “revealing the unprecedented extent of state surveillance.”
He shared the award with Rusbridger, who led the Guardian through the process of publishing Snowden’s leaked material. They were both named honorary winners, meaning they would not receive an allotment of the prize money.
“None of them could have done what they did without the other,” foundation director Ole von Uexkull told dpa.
Three other recipients were each to receive 500,000 kronor (70,000 dollars) for promoting human rights and combating climate change.
Pakistan-based lawyer Asma Jahangir was lauded by the jury for her efforts on behalf of vulnerable groups like children and religious minorities despite “great personal risk.”
Sri Lanka-born Basil Fernando, former head of the Asian Human Rights Commission, received the accolade for “tireless and outstanding work” for human rights in Asia.
US activist Bill McKibben was awarded for raising awareness about climate change through books and the international climate campaign 350.org.
The award, often called the “Alternative Nobel,” was announced by the Stockholm-based Right Livelihood Award Foundation.