Shortlist Unveiled for 2020 GUE/NGL Award for Whistleblowers & Journalists

Dedicated to individuals or groups who have been intimidated and/or persecuted for uncovering the truth and exposing it to the public, this year’s award of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left group in the European Parliament is once again named in honour of the late Maltese journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia.

The 2020 renewal will also be dedicated to Dr Li Wenliang, the Chinese ophthalmologist who first revealed the seriousness of the coronavirus outbreak to the world, but later died in hospital in Wuhan.

The six nominees are:

Chelsea Manning

Chelsea Manning joined the US Army in 2007 and as an intelligence analyst, she was sent to Iraq in 2009 where she had access to classified information that was described as deeply troubling, including videos that showed unarmed Iraqi civilians being shot at and killed. 

She also gained access to war logs about the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts, as well as private cables from the US State Department. Manning passed much of the information onto WikiLeaks, and the fallout from those revelations provoked international outrage. Manning was later arrested and in 2013, she was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking classified information, but was granted clemency by Barack Obama in 2017.


As the first non-profit investigative journalism  centre in the German-speaking countries, Correctiv and its network has been lauded for bringing to light the ‘cum-ex’ scandal, which is estimated to have cost EU taxpayers at least €55 billion. Using independent journalism to uncover injustices and abuse of power through thorough investigations with established media outlets, Correctiv led the way in exposing the Europe-wide, stock-trading scam by bankers, brokers, hedge funds, international tax firms, investment companies, lawyers and insurance companies.

Glenn Greenwald

As an award-winning journalist specialising in state surveillance, Greenwald’s work has been published in The Guardian and Salon, and he is one of the co-founding editors of The Intercept. In 2013, Greenwald was one of the reporters on a Pulitzer Prize-winning series in the Guardian on Edward Snowden’s disclosures about the National Security Agency.

He has also authored books on the Bush administration’s executive power and foreign policy abuses. As a former lawyer, he has written extensively on America’s two-tiered justice system.

Eileen Chubb

As one of the ‘Bupa 7’ who expose widespread abuse in British elderly care homes, Chubb founded the charity Compassion In Care in 2000 to document other abuses in care homes, but also to support other whistleblowers. She has been a tireless campaigner for whistleblower  protection – the so-called ‘Edna’s Law’. Chubb also helped set up a helpline for whistleblowers and is a co-founder of The Whistler, whose aim is to help whistleblowers from all sectors.

Omar Rojas Bolaños

This former Colombian national police colonel spent a decade investigating the extrajudicial killings of thousands of men and women at the hands of the country’s police forces, army and the government. Together with the University of Santo Tomás, Rojas Bolaños uncovered the practise of ‘Los falsos positivos’, in which thousands of innocent people were murdered and/or kidnapped in order to ‘improve’ the country’s statistics in the war against the FARC rebels. His exposé showed how horrific human rights violations were covered up and even involved changing official documents – all as part of a propaganda campaign to sway public opinion on the war with FARC. 

After receiving death threats, he is currently living in exile.

Novartis whistleblowers

It has been described as the biggest bribery scandal in modern Greece. When revelations were made public in 2018 that Swiss drugmaker Novartis had bribed two former Prime Ministers, senior politicians and thousands of doctors on an industrial scale, it sent shockwaves through a country that was still reeling from the 2008 financial crisis. The kickbacks are alleged to have amounted to €50m but cost the Greek public health system some €4 billion. It was all part of Novartis’s effort to boost sales between 2006 and 2015, and if it wasn’t for the three whistleblowers who had access to documentation that proves bribery had taken place, the scandal might never have come to light. So far, they have remained anonymous but some of the accused are determined to unmask their identities, thus putting the whistleblowers’ safety at risk.

The award

The prize will be awarded on 14 October at the European Parliament in Brussels – two days before the third anniversary of Caruana Galizia’s death.

The winner will also receive 5,000 euros for their work.

Originally published at the website of the GUE/NGL.