18th November: Waiting for Snowden


Day of the Imprisoned Writers 2016

Venue: Wergeland room, House of Literature in Oslo, Friday November 18th at 17:00 pm

Welcome by William Nygaard, President of Norwegian PEN.

Edward Snowden interviewed by Christian Borch on link from Moscow.

The artist Pål Moddi Knutsen performs songs from his new album «Unsongs».

Interview with whistleblower John Crane (USA)

Panel discussion
John Crane – whistleblower, former senior official at the Pentagon
Alan Rusbridger – former editor-in-chief of The Guardian
Michael Tetzschner – MOP, liberal party
Snorre Valen – MOP, socialist left party

Summarizing the debate – Ole Petter Ottersen, rector of the University of Oslo

Chairman of the Norwegian PEN Committee for imprisoned Writers Brit Bildøen and member of the committee Johanne Fronth Nygren present this year’s focus prisoners, ie the imprisoned writers, journalists etc. that PEN centres around the world campaign for on this day.

Edward Snowden’s struggle to get a legal guarantee that he will not be extradited to the United States according to the Extradition Act, should he come to Norway to receive Ossietzky prize, is delayed. When Norwegian PEN, on 7th March this year, announced that the Ossietzky Prize for 2016 had been awarded whistleblower Edward Snowden, the awards ceremony was set for November 18th at the Oslo University Hall. The case is being processed by the Supreme Court and it will take some time for the Court to reach a final decision. After consultation with our lawyers, Norwegian PEN therefore decided to postpone the award ceremony, which will take place with Edward Snowden´s personal presence. The award ceremony will therefore take place on June 7, 2017.

Norwegian PEN, however, maintains the annual event on 18th November, marking the international Day of the Imprisoned Writers, where the Edward Snowden case will be central. Snowden himself will speak to the assembly via skype from Moscow.