Email
Password
Remember meForgot password?
    Log in with Twitter

article imageNSA whistleblower Snowden applies for asylum in 21 countries

By Anne Sewell     Jul 2, 2013 in World
Moscow - While Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower, languishes in Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport, he has now sent out a number of requests for asylum or asylum assistance, bringing a total of 21 countries approached by him.
According to a statement released by WikiLeaks on Tuesday, legal advisor to Snowden, Sarah Harrison, submitted by hand several requests for asylum and asylum assistance on his behalf to an official at the Russian consulate at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow, late in the evening on June 30.
Outlining the risks that Snowden faces of persecution in the US, the requests are already being delivered by the Russian consulate to the appropriate embassies in Moscow.
According to the WikiLeaks statement, among the countries receiving requests are:
The Republic of Austria, the Plurinational State of Bolivia, the Federative Republic of Brazil, the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Cuba, the Republic of Finland, the French Republic, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Republic of India, the Italian Republic, the Republic of Ireland, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Republic of Nicaragua, the Kingdom of Norway, the Republic of Poland, the Russian Federation, the Kingdom of Spain, the Swiss Confederation and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.
Previous requests had been made to the Ecuador and Iceland.
Russia has already said that it would give Snowden asylum, as long as he stopped releasing data that could cause damage to the US.
President Vladimir Putin said on Monday: "If he wants to stay here, there is one condition: he has to stop his work aimed at damaging our US partners, no matter how strange this sounds coming from me."
However, Putin added: "Snowden feels he is a fighter for human rights, he doesn't appear to intend to give up such work. Therefore he should pick a country for himself and travel there. When this will happen, I don't know."
While probably not successful in his bid for asylum in Ecuador, Snowden did write a letter thanking President Rafael Correa:
"There are few world leaders who would risk standing for the human rights of an individual against the most powerful government on earth, and the bravery of Ecuador and its people is an example to the world."
As reported on Digital Journal, US Vice President Joe Biden has personally asked Ecuador's president Correa to reject the asylum request by Snowden.
Digital Journal reported on Tuesday that WikiLeaks has also released a personal statement by Edward Snowden, however, there are doubts in the media as to its authenticity, mainly due to the choice of grammar in the document:
One week ago I left Hong Kong after it became clear that my freedom and safety were under threat for revealing the truth. My continued liberty has been owed to the efforts of friends new and old, family, and others who I have never met and probably never will. I trusted them with my life and they returned that trust with a faith in me for which I will always be thankful.
On Thursday, President Obama declared before the world that he would not permit any diplomatic "wheeling and dealing" over my case. Yet now it is being reported that after promising not to do so, the President ordered his Vice President to pressure the leaders of nations from which I have requested protection to deny my asylum petitions.
This kind of deception from a world leader is not justice, and neither is the extralegal penalty of exile. These are the old, bad tools of political aggression. Their purpose is to frighten, not me, but those who would come after me.
For decades the United States of America has been one of the strongest defenders of the human right to seek asylum. Sadly, this right, laid out and voted for by the U.S. in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is now being rejected by the current government of my country. The Obama administration has now adopted the strategy of using citizenship as a weapon. Although I am convicted of nothing, it has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person. Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum.
In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake. We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised — and it should be.
I am unbowed in my convictions and impressed at the efforts taken by so many.
Edward Joseph Snowden
Monday 1st July 2013
More about edward snowden, snowden, nsa whistleblower, Moscow, Russia
More news from
Latest News
Top News