Daniel Ellsberg, an American whistleblower and a former US military analyst, was awarded the 2018 Olof Palme Prize. He is notable for releasing the Pentagon Papers in 1971, documents that revealed that successive American governments had misled the general public regarding the Vietnam War. This led to a reduction in the duration of the war, saving many lives.
For his act, Ellsberg faced charges of espionage and conspiracy against the government and faced up to 115 years in prison. However, all these charges were dropped when his trial ended in 1973. Despite being aware of the consequences of a tainted career and a long term in prison, he had the courage to stand up for the truth.
According to the official website, the prize is being awarded to him for “his profound humanism and exceptional moral courage.” The ceremony will be held on 30th January 2019 in Stockholm, the capital of Sweden.
He was also awarded the Right Livelihood Award in 2006, the Ridenhour Courage Prize in 2004, and the Gandhi Peace Prize in 1978. Also, he has also been the subject of numerous films and documentaries.
What is the Olof Palme Prize?
The Olof Palme Prize is awarded in honour of Olof Palme, the 26th Prime Minister of Sweden, who was assassinated in February 1986. He was an outspoken advocate of international human rights and a renowned statesman. The Olof Palme Memorial Fund for International Understanding and Common Security was established by his family and the Social Democratic Party to honour his memory. The annual Olof Palme Prize recipient is chosen by the board and is awarded for outstanding achievement in the spirit of Olof Palme.
The Prize is worth 100,000 U.S dollars and was first awarded in 1987.
Previous recipients of the Olof Palme Prize
The previous recipients of this prestigious prize are Vaclav Havel, the first President of the Czech Republic; Kofi Annan, the seventh Secretary-General of the United Nations; and Carsten Jensen, a Danish author and political columnist.