EDWARD SNOWDEN, the American now living in Russia after releasing thousands of secret National Security Agency documents, sent a four-minute video message to the Oxford Union last night as part of the Sam Adams Award ceremony hailing Chelsea Manning.

Manning was the former US soldier jailed for similarly releasing intelligence documents to Wikileaks and received the Sam Adams Award for Integrity in Intelligence.

During his message, Snowden praises Manning and also said an escalation in secrecy by Governments was undermining democracy.