In its meeting on June 18, the Academic Senate voted in favor of extending honorary membership to Snowden. The senate decision was made after a motion was introduced to grant Snowden honorary membership in the university in recognition of his extraordinary achievements in defense of transparency, justice, and freedom.
Honorary membership in the university is awarded for outstanding service to Freie Universität Berlin or for special services rendered to the development of science and research. The Academic Senate is the body responsible for the decision. Other than the honor involved, there are no rights, privileges, or duties connected with honorary membership.
The American citizen Edward Joseph Snowden became known worldwide in 2013, when British and American newspapers published reports on his extensive revelations on the functioning of the American intelligence services. Indicted by a U.S. federal court for espionage, 31-year-old Snowden is currently living in Russia under a temporary resident permit.