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CITIZENFOUR wins Oscar for Best Documentary

Laura Poitras’ documentary about Edward Snowden, CITIZENFOUR, was awarded an Oscar at the Academy Awards ceremony in Los Angeles on 22 February 2014.

In her acceptance speech, standing alongside Glenn Greenwald and Edward Snowden’s girlfriend Lindsay Mills, Laura Poitras paid tribute to Edward Snowden:

The disclosures that Edward Snowden revealed don’t only expose the threat to our privacy but to our democracy itself. When the most important decisions being made that affect all of us are being made in secret, we lose our ability to control. Thank you to Edward Snowden for his courage and to the many other whistleblowers. I share this with Glenn Greenwald and the other journalists that are exposing truth.

Snowden himself released a statement via the ACLU:

When Laura Poitras asked me if she could film our encounters, I was extremely reluctant. I’m grateful that I allowed her to persuade me. The result is a brave and brilliant film that deserves the honor and recognition it has received. My hope is that this award will encourage more people to see the film and be inspired by its message that ordinary citizens, working together, can change the world.

Courage, the organisation that runs Edward Snowden’s defence fund and this website, also released a statement, which emphasises the “dangerous gap in protections for whistleblowers” demonstrated in the film.

The Courage Foundation is delighted that CITIZENFOUR has been awarded the Oscar for the Best Documentary Feature of 2014.

The film shows that after journalists left Edward Snowden in Hong Kong, awaiting the United States’ charges and extradition request, Snowden relied on WikiLeaks to secure him asylum. As Laura Poitras’ film depicts, Snowden is now safe, living comfortably with his girlfriend in Moscow, but the film demonstrates the dangerous gap in protections for whistleblowers. WikiLeaks’ rescue – and the need it demonstrated – was the inception of Courage, devoted to providing protections, defence and safety nets for whistleblowers in the highest-risk situations, when others can’t or won’t help.

Courage, which hosts Edward Snowden’s only official defence fund, is establishing international networks ready to provide future Snowdens with logistical and legal help, in addition to assisting journalistic sources at risk before the investigation stage. But we need your help. Fighting legal battles against the most powerful governments in the world is expensive, yet essential. Courage’s Acting Director Sarah Harrison said: “Governments are ramping up their efforts to persecute those who expose the truth, and we must do the same if we’re going to keep our truth-tellers safe. Donate to Courage to ensure we are there when we are needed most.”

Donate to Courage today to contribute to the frontline of defence for future Snowdens: https://couragefound.org/donate
Further information: https://couragefound.org

Artists and intellectuals declare their support for Edward Snowden

More than sixty celebrities and thinkers have signed a statement pledging their support for Edward Snowden and encouraging donations to his official defence fund. Signed by Susan Sarandon, Russell Brand, Peter Sarsgaard, M.I.A., Thurston Moore, David Berman, Vivienne Westwood, Alfonso Cuaròn and several other artists and intellectuals, the statement praises the work of Edward Snowden and other whistleblowers, highlighting the need to support these individuals as they face social and legal persecution for their revelations to the public.

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Edward Snowden speaks to the Council of Europe on improving the protection of whistleblowers

Tuesday 24 June saw Edward Snowden’s second appearance before the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe. In April, he spoke to the assembly of Parliamentarians from 47 countries about mass surveillance. The topic of yesterdays’s session was improving protection of whistleblowers; reports on both subjects are being prepared for consideration by the Assembly before the end of the year.

Edward Snowden at the Council of Europe

Video and audio recordings of the session have been made available.

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