Transcript: Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino Aroca’s reading of Edward Snowden’s request for asylum

Editor’s note: Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino Aroca delivered his remarks in Spanish. The transcript below is based on translation provided by BBC News.

Transcript of Ecuadorian Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino Aroca’s reading of Edward Snowden’s request for asylum. The press conference was held in Vietnam on June 24, 2013:

Mr. Edward Snowden has presented request for asylum to the Ecuadorian government that contains the following text and it’s directed at President Rafael Correa. It says:

“I, Edward Snowden, United States citizen, am writing to request asylum in Ecuador because of the risk of being persecuted by the United States and its agents in relations to my decision to make public very serious declarations that the United States government had violated of its Constitution and concrete Fourth and Fifth Amendment violations and various treaties of the United Nations that are binding to my country.

“As a result of my political opinions and my desire to exercise my freedom of speech, under which I have shown how the U.S. government is intercepting the majority of communications in the world, the U.S. government has announced publicly a criminal investigation against me. And prominent congressional figures in the U.S. and other media in the U.S. have accused me as a traitor and have called for me to be jailed or executed as a result of having communicated this information to the public.

“Some of the charges that have been presented against me by the Justice Department of United States are connected to the 1917 Espionage Act, one of which includes life in prison among the possible sentences.

“The government and its contractors – it’s the same district that has been conducting the investigation of the United States against WikiLeaks. Ecuador granted WikiLeaks Julian Assange asylum.

“My case is also very similar to that of Bradley Manning, the U.S. soldier who revealed through WikiLeaks government documents and was arrested by the U.S. government, and he was treated inhumanely during his time in prison and put in solitary confinement before his trial that was decided by the U.N. anti-torture representative that Mr. Manning was submitted to cruel and inhumane acts. The trial against Bradley Manning is developing now and before the court there had been documents, secret documents, and secret witnesses that has declared.

“I believe that given these circumstances, it’s improbable that I will receive a fair trial or proper treatment prior to that trial and face the possibility of life in prison or even death.”

Signed by Edward J. Snowden

 

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