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US: recognize the importance of Snowden. EU: grant Snowden asylum. Nobel Committee: consider Snowden for the Nobel Peace Prize.

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Liberty and Recognition for Edward Snowden. 

Worldwide Reading on September 8th 2014

The international literature festival Berlin (ilb) calls on all individuals, institutions, schools and media outlets that care about freedom and civil rights to participate in a worldwide reading of texts about surveillance in support of Edward Snowden, on 8th September 2014.

On 6th June 2103 the Guardian published the first of a long series of articles exposing the extent of mass surveillance being conducted by states and corporations worldwide, in particular the American National Security Agency (NSA) and the British intelligence agency Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ). New information taken from the top-secret files of these agencies continues to be revealed, detailing how millions of innocent citizens are being digitally tailed as suspects. Data about our phone calls, online chats, text messages, web searches, social media use – all the means through which we daily conduct our lives – is collected, analyzed and stored.

One man alone was responsible for disclosing these shocking violations to the public; his name is Edward Snowden. A former employee of the NSA, Snowden had become increasingly disillusioned and alarmed by the scope of surveillance and the illegal methods being used. He realized, “I do not want to live in a world where everything I do and say is recorded. That is not something I am willing to support or live under.” Unsuccessful attempts to influence the system from within pushed Snowden to take the only other route available to call attention to these gross infractions: whistleblowing. Knowing he might never again see his friends, family or country, Edward Snowden left his life and all comforts behind in the United States, carrying with him nothing except for four laptops within which were some of the National Security Agency’s most highly classified secrets.

These leaks were shared with the world through careful collaboration with responsible newspapers. They have sparked a long overdue global debate about democracy and human rights in the digital age. Corporations have come under scrutiny for their brazen exploitation of consumers’ data. Citizens everywhere are waking up to the fact that there is no freedom without privacy and are demanding the right to live without being constantly observed. As a result, governments around the world are increasingly forced to review their own surveillance systems and, in some cases, acknowledge their complicity with the NSA.

Edward Snowden disclosed his identity soon after the first leaks were published because he wanted to protect anyone else from being implicated. He said: “I have no intention of hiding who I am, because I know I have done nothing wrong.” The ilb wholeheartedly endorses this claim and asks all citizens to do so as well by joining in the worldwide reading for a man who has done humanity a great service.

With this worldwide reading, we call on the United States Government to recognize that Edward Snowden's revelations are of essential importance for the safeguarding of democracy in the digital age, and thus that his actions must be seen to be covered by the Universal Unwritten Rule of the Ethical Right. Washington should therefore immediately lift all legal charges and complaints against Snowden, so that he can return home safely as a free man.

We further demand that the Member States of the European Union, in recognition of the importance of his revelations, immediately grant Edward Snowden asylum in the EU, for as long as he may need it and at least until the US Government has lifted all charges against him.

Finally, we ask that the Nobel Committee consider Edward Snowden for the Nobel Peace Prize – in recognition of his amazing, selfless service towards democracy, freedom and peace for all of us.

All texts for the reading are available in several languages on July 30th on our website Please contact the ilb if you would like to participate. The email address is:



Agualusa, José Eduardo  AO, BR
Ahmad, Omair  IN
Alegria, Claribel  NI
Amis, Martin  GB
Aridjis, Homero  MX
Aridjis, Betty  MX
Aridjis, Chloe  MX
Arvola, Ingeborg  NO
Aslam, Nadeem PK, GB
Assmann, Jan  DE
Azevedo, Ricardo  BR
Bachelet, Giovanni  IT
Badr, Liana  IL
Balci, Güner Yasemin  DE
Bartsch, Wilhelm  DE
Basil, Priya  GB
Battistella, Stefania IT
Belli, Gioconda  NI
Bernstein, Charles US
Blomé, Toby  US
Bodrozic, Marica  DE, HR
Böhm, Thomas DE
Bonné, Mirko DE
Bracho, Coral  MX
Brassinga, Anneke NL
Brett, Brian  CA
Breytenbach, Breyten  ZA
Buchholz, Martin  DE
Cacho, Lydia  MX
Castro, Brian  ZA
Chalfi, Raquel  IL
Cheheltan, Amir  IR, US
Chomsky, Noam  US
Clement, Jennifer  US, MX
Costa, Beppe IT
Day, Michael  US
de Bernieres, Louis  GB
de Souza, Patricia PE, FR
de Toledo, Camille FR
Debeljak, Aleš SI
Dimkovska, Lidija  MK
Dische, Irene DE, US
Dorfman, Ariel  AR, CL
Dragomán, György HU
Dutton, Paul  CA
Etwebi, Ashur  LY
Eugenides, Jeffrey  US
Fargo Cole, Isabel  US
Flanagan, Richard  AU
Forche, Carolyn  US
Frevert, Ute DE
Gatenby, Greg CA
Gerz, Jochen DE
Grote, Christian DE
Guo, Xiaolu  CN, GB
Gustafsson, Lars  SE
Hacker, Marilyn DE
Haslinger, Josef  DE
Hass, Robert L.  US
Haugen, Paal-Helge  NO

Heinrich, Finn-Ole  DE

Helgason, Hallgrimur  IS

Herbert, Wiesner DE

Herliany, Dorothea Rosa  ID
Hertmans, Stefan BE
Horstmann, Ulrich DE
Hosfeld, Rolf  DE
Howard, David  NZ
Humaidan, Iman  LB
Ihalainen, JK  FI
Ingebrigtsen, Eirik  NO
Jelinek, Elfriede AT
Jones, Gail  AU
Jonsdottir, Birgitta IS
Jungersen, Christian DK
Kessler, Florian DE
Kishore, Naveen  IN
Kleemann, Jessie  GL
Knausgård, Karl Ove NO
Knauss, Sibylle DE
Koteska, Jasna  MK
Krull, Hasso  EE
Kumpfmüller, Michael  DE
Lagash, Luca IT
Llongueras, Angelina  ES, US
Lodemann, Jürgen  DE
Magnason, Andri  IS
Mak, Geert NL
Malna, Afrizal  ID
Mandilaras, Filippos  GR
Mawiyoo, Ngwatilo  KE
Meddeb, Abdelwahab  TN, FR
Melandri, Francesca  IT
Menasse, Eva DE
Mernissi, Fatema  MA
Metz, Markus  DE
Michalopoulou, Amanda  GR
Morales Chavarro, Winston  CO
Nagarkar, Kiran  IN
Nakhjavani, Bahiyyih IR, US

Navarro, Mariette FR
Nilsson, Moni SE
Nwakanma, Obi  NG
Ondaatje,  Michael  CA
Oroschakoff, Haralampi  DE, AT
Palma, Jorge UY
Palmer, Michael  US
Paterson, Don  GB
Patiño Góez, Rafael CO
Peters, Christoph DE
Plessen, Elisabeth DE
Rendón, Fernando  CO
Restrepo, Laura  CO
Rinke, Moritz  DE
Rosa Mendes, Pedro PT
Rosenstock, Gabriel  IE
Rotfuß, Veronika  DE
Said, Mekkawi  EG
Saleh, Fakhri  JO
Saleh, Ameen  BH
Salmon, Christian  FR
Sartorius, Joachim DE
Satchidanandan, K. IN
Schreiber, Ulrich DE
Schuenke, Christa  DE
Schulze, Ingo DE
Šehić, Faruk BA
Selasi, Taiye  GB, IT
Sennewald, Nadja DE
Sguiglia, Eduardo AR
Shimon, Samuel IQ, GB
Shuttleworth, Mike  AU
Sofronieva, Tzveta  BG, DE
Sonnenberg, Brittani US, DE
Stamm, Peter  CH
Stanchina, Kanta  DE, IN
Stephanides, Stephanos  CY
Strubel, Antje DE
Szirtes, George  GB, HU
Tafdrup, Pia DK
Talvet, Jüri  EE
Teller, Janne DK
Thien, Madeleine CA, CN, MY
Thompson, Jon  US
Thor, Annika  SE
Toews, Miriam CA
Trojanow, Ilija BG, DE
Tuveri, Igor IT
Vlavianos, Haris  GR
Vold, Jan Erik  NO
Völker, Peter  DE
von Waberer, Keto  DE
Wainaina, Binyavanga  US, KE
Waldmann, Anne US
Walther, Joachim  DE
Warner, Marina  GB
Weinberger, Eliot  US
Welsh, Irvine GB
Wenzel, Hans-Eckhardt DE
Wharton, Herbert AU
Yang, Lian CN
Yiwu, Liao CN
Zeh, Juli DE



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