Norwegian press advocacy group gives prize to Snowden in Moscow

President of Norwegian PEN William Nygaard and Secretary General of Norwegian PEN Hege Newth Nouri with Edward Snowden, April 21, 2017, in Moscow.

Norwegian PEN

COPENHAGEN, Denmark -- A Norwegian press advocacy group says it has finally given an award to Edward Snowden in Moscow after several failed attempts to win a legal guarantee in Norway that the former National Security Agency contractor could travel freely without risk of being extradited to the United States. 

Hege Newth Nouri, head of Norway's chapter of the free speech and literary organization PEN, said Wednesday she met with Snowden in the Russian capital April 21 to give him the award. 

In May 2016, the prize was awarded to Snowden, who leaked documents revealing extensive U.S. government surveillance, for being the "Ossietzky of our time." The annual prize had been named for Carl von Ossietzky, a German pacifist writer who was imprisoned by the Nazis for exposing Germany's secret rearmament.

Snowden has been living in Russia since 2013 when he got stuck in the transit area at a Moscow airport after the United States canceled his passport. In January, Russian authorities extended his residence permit. Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova had said in a Facebook post that it was extended for "a couple of years."