NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden applies for asylum in 21 countries
Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden has filed requests for asylum in 21 countries, including Russia, Venezuela, China, Cuba, Ecuador, and Iceland, WikiLeaks announced early yesterday.
“The requests were delivered to an official at the Russian consulate in Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow” late Sunday evening,” according to Wikileaks. “The documents outline the risks of persecution Mr. Snowden faces in the United States.”
The asylum requests were submitted in-person by Wikileaks’ legal advisor, Sarah Harrison. WikiLeaks stated that the asylum request documents have been delivered by the Russian consulate to various embassies in Moscow.
The 21 countries where Snowden has asked for asylum assistance are: Russia, China, Venezuela, Iceland, Ecuador, Cuba, Brazil, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Bolivia, and Austria.
Read more: Edward Snowden seeks asylum in Ecuador
The requests were filed after Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa cooled on the idea of granting asylum to Snowden following a phone conversation with Vice President Joe Biden on Saturday.
India’s Ministry of External Affairs rejected Snowden’s asylum request today.
“I can confirm that earlier today our Embassy in Moscow did receive a communication dated 30 June from Mr. Edward Snowden. That communication did contain a request for asylum. We have carefully examined the request. Following that examination we have concluded that we see no reason to accede to the request,” according to the Indian ministry’s official spokesperson.
Hua Chunying, spokesperson for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, declined to comment on Snowden’s asylum request.
Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro, who is visiting Russia, said that Snowden is “entitled to international protection”.
The U.S. State Department revoked Snowden’s passport after he was charged with the Espionage Act for leaking classified information about the NSA’s PRISM and BLARNEY surveillance programs. Those NSA programs involved bulk collection of phone records and Internet communications – such as emails and chats – in the United States.
Snowden left Hong Kong for Moscow on Sunday, June 23rd. The former Booz Allen Hamilton system administrator has since remained in the transit zone of Sheremetyevo Airport where a visa is not required.
Russian President Vladimir Putin yesterday said that Snowden could stay in Russia but only if he agrees to stop leaking U.S. secrets.
“If he wants to go somewhere [another country] and is accepted, he can. If he wants to stay here, there is one condition: He must stop his work aimed at harming our US partners, no matter how strange this may sound coming from me,” Putin told RIA Novosti.
The U.S. does not have an extradition treaty with Russia.
But according to RIA Novosti, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that Snowden withdrew his request to remain in Russia after learning about the conditions outlined by Putin.
“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,” Snowden wrote. “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.”
- WikiLeaks.org: Statement from Edward Snowden in Moscow on July 1, 2013
- WikiLeaks.org: Edward Snowden submits asylum applications
- India’s Ministry of External Affairs: Official Spokesperson’s response to a media query on the asylum request from Mr. Snowden
- Reuters.com: U.S. asked Ecuador not to give Snowden asylum: Correa
- RIA Novosti: Snowden does not want to stay in Russia
- RIA Novosti: Snowden can stay but must stop harming U.S. – Putin
- WhatTheFolly.com: Statement from Edward Snowden in Moscow on Monday, July 1, 2013 released by WikiLeaks
- WhatTheFolly.com: Edward Snowden seeks asylum in Ecuador
- WhatTheFolly.com: NSA Surveillance Programs
- WhatTheFolly.com: U.S. files Espionage Act charges against Snowden
- WhatTheFolly.com: Senators demand answers from Director of National Intelligence on NSA’s bulk data collection programs
Category: Analysis, Civil Liberties, Corruption, Criminal Justice, Current Events, Feature, Government, Human Rights, International, News, State Department, Technology, U.S. · Tags: asylum, Austria, BLARNEY, Bolivia, Booz Allen Hamilton, Brazil, China, CIA, Cuba, data mining, Democratic, Democrats, Ecuador, Edward Snowden, Espionage Act, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Ireland, Italy, Joe Biden, leak, metadata, Moscow, National Security Agency, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Nicolas Maduro, Norway, NSA, Poland, President Barack Obama, PRISM, privacy, Private William Long, Rafael Correa, RIA Novosti, Russia, Sarah Harrison, Spain, State Department, Switzerland, U.S., United States, Venezuela, Vladimir Putin, whistleblower, White House, WikiLeaks