A Norwegian court of appeals on Wednesday rejected [judgment, PDF, in Norwegian] a lawsuit against the country’s government from Edward Snowden [BBC profile]. Snowden received a free-speech award from Norsk PEN, the country’s branch of PEN International [official websites]. Snowden, having asylum in neighboring Russia, desired to travel to Oslo to accept the award, but filed suit against the nation’s government seeking an advance decision on whether the country would extradite him to the US. The Borgarting court [official website, in Norwegian] followed the Oslo district court [official website, in Norwegian] in rejecting [Reuters report] Snowden’s claim, declining to compel the justice ministry to make such advance decisions. Norsk PEN, also involved in the lawsuit with Snowden, stated that they intend to appeal to the country’s highest court.
Snowden, a former US National Security Agency (NSA) [official website] contractor and computer professional, became famous in 2013 for leaking classified information. His leak ultimately led to significant revelations about global mass surveillance programs employed by various governments, particularly the US. Earlier this month human rights groups, including the American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International [advocacy websites], called on [JURIST report] US President Barack Obama [official profile] to pardon the former NSA contractor with the launch [AI press release] of the Pardon Snowden Campaign [advocacy website]. Last October the European Parliament voted to approve [JURIST report] a resolution encouraging its member countries not to extradite Snowden and called upon its member states to drop all criminal charges against him and offer him protection as an “international human rights defender.” The question of Snowden’s guilt [JURIST op-ed] and the legitimacy of the charges against him have been debated and analyzed [JURIST news archive] widely in the U.S.