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Chelsea Manning, Correctiv & Novartis whistleblowers win GUE/NGL award

The former US army intelligence officer Chelsea Manning, the non-profit German investigative organisation Correctiv, and Greece’s Novartis whistleblowers have been jointly awarded the third annual GUE/NGL prize for ‘Journalists, Whistleblowers and Defenders of the Right to Information’.

Named in honour of the murdered Maltese investigative journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia, the three have been honoured for their work in exposing the truth, and for their courage in risking their careers and personal freedom.

This year’s ceremony took place two days before the third anniversary of Caruana Galizia’s assassination, and her killers remain at large and the murder unresolved.

In 2019, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, Nestlé whistleblower Yasmine Motarjemi and Football Leaks’ Rui Pinto jointly won the award.

 

2020 winners

Chelsea Manning, whistleblower & former US Army intelligence analyst who passed on classified information & war logs to the international press, exposing human rights violations.

Correctiv, non-profit investigators which helped expose, amongst others, the ‘cum-ex’ scandal which is estimated to have cost EU taxpayers at least €55 billion. 

Greece’s Novartis whistleblowers, whose lives remain in danger after exposing high-level corruption by the pharmaceutical giant to doctors even the most senior members of right-wing Greek government during the late 2000s/early 2010s.

You can watch the winner’s acceptance speeches here:

 

Also nominated:

– Eileen Chubb – British care home worker who exposed widespread elderly abuse at BUPA facilities.

– Glenn Greenwald – co-founder of The Intercept and one of the main forces behind the Edward Snowden leaks on the NSA.

– Omar Rojas Bolaños – former Colombian national police colonel currently in exile after exposing the extrajudicial killings of thousands of men & women at the hands of the country’s police forces, army & government.

 

Watch the ceremony again here.

 

Commenting on the 2020 award, MEP Stelios Kouloglou (SYRIZA, Greece) said:

“Thanks to the compassion shown by GUE/NGL to the heroes of our time – whistleblowers and journalists who are fighting for the truth – this award, now in its third year, is firmly established as one of the key events here at the European Parliament,” said the Greek MEP.

Marisa Matias (BE, Portugal) added:

“Rights and freedom have been massively eroded during the current pandemic.”

“This award is our group’s humble contribution to honour those who are brave enough to put in practice the pillars of democracy, such as the right to information and the freedom of the press.”

“Those who have been honoured this year are exemplary of this fight,” she added.

For Miguel Urbán (Anticapitalistas, Spain), the three winners are all very worthy recipients:

“With the Covid-19 pandemic, the Novartis case has shown how detrimental the privatisation of healthcare is, and why we must defend universal and public health systems. In doing so, the collaboration of the media and journalists in exposing the big pharma’s shady businesses is essential.

“The same applies to what Correctiv has carried out, and its work underlines how essential it is for journalists and the media to support each other and for cross-border collaboration. Correctiv’s work on ‘cum-ex’ helped expose well-established, international coordination between large European banks, insurance companies and investment funds. We need this kind of investigative work, and such international collaboration on exposing the truth is vital.”

“Meanwhile, Chelsea Manning has had to endure time in prison for defending the right to information – with terrible consequences for her personal life. She was a key player in leaking thousands of secret US documents in 2010. Like journalists, whistleblowers like Manning should be protected from retaliation, and not be persecuted for defending public interest,” he concluded.

For full biographies of the nominees and winners, please click here, and for the jury here

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