Edward Snowden was among the winners Wednesday of a Swedish human rights award, sometimes referred to as the "alternative Nobel," for his disclosures of top secret surveillance programs.
The decision to honor the former National Security Agency contractor with the Right Livelihood Award appeared to cause a diplomatic headache for Sweden's Foreign Ministry, which withdrew the prize jury's permission to use its media room for the announcement.
Created in 1980, the annual Right Livelihood Award honors efforts that founder Jacob von Uexkull felt were being ignored by the Nobel Prizes.
Foundation director Ole von Uexkull — the award creator's nephew — said all winners have been invited to the Dec. 1 award ceremony in Stockholm, though he added it's unclear whether Snowden can attend.
"We will start discussions with the Swedish government and his lawyers in due course to discuss the potential arrangements for his participation," Von Uexkull told The Associated Press.
Snowden, who has reportedly also been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, remains exiled in Russia since leaking top secret NSA documents to journalists last year. He has been charged under the U.S. Espionage Act and could face up to 30 years in prison.