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  • Dec 19, 2014
  • Updated: 2:07am
Edward Snowden
NewsHong Kong

Hong Kong lawmakers urge Obama to 'tread very carefully' with Snowden case

Legco to debate Snowden case and hacking disclosures next week

PUBLISHED : Friday, 14 June, 2013, 5:11pm
UPDATED : Saturday, 15 June, 2013, 4:22am
 

Two pan-democratic lawmakers urged US President Barack Obama on Friday to stop all legal action against and “consider letting go” NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden who has taken refuge in Hong Kong.

They made the comments at a press conference at which they also made public a letter they have sent to Obama urging him to not allow "national security" claims to justify abuse of state power.

In an exclusive interview with the South China Morning Post on Wednesday, Snowden, a 29-year-old former Central Intelligence Agency analyst, made the explosive claims that the US government had been hacking into computers in Hong Kong and on the mainland for years. He had earlier revealed that the US has been secretly collecting the phone and online data of its citizens for national security reasons.

In the 400-word letter, Claudia Mo Man-ching of the Civic Party and Gary Fan Kwok-wai of the NeoDemocrats, democratically elected members of the Legislative Council urged Obama to “tread very carefully and take into account the views of America’s democratic friends around the world.”

“President Obama probably wouldn’t want any stain ... on his political career,” said Mo.

I’m asking the United States not to even try to charge [Snowden]
Claudia Mo Man-ching

Mo and Fan – members of the group Hong Kong First – stated in the letter that Snowden’s actions may be seen as similar to those of whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, a national security analyst, who in 1971 passed to The New York Times defence documents known as the Pentagon Papers that enabled the American public to better understand the challenges the US was facing in Vietnam War.

“I’m actually asking the United States not to even try to charge [Snowden],” Mo said. “Once they’ve actually set down the charges, they would need to start extradition proceedings with the Hong Kong government, and that would trigger another round of very complicated legal arguments.”

In the first place, the personal safety of Snowden has to be protected as he said he was feeling unsafe.

The letter wrote: “While we accept that Mr Snowden may be deemed to have contravened US law, we believe he may have done liberal democracy a service by stimulating serious discussion in many countries about the extent to which surveillance is acceptable in liberal, democratic societies.”

Mo also described Chief Executive Leung Chun-ying as having “no guts and no backbone” as he has stuck to the line “I am not commenting on individual cases” whenever he has been asked to comment on the Snowden case.

Many people in the US, Hong Kong and the world might have had their privacy harmed by hacking activities
Gary Fan Kwok-wai

“He’d not even dare to ask Washington if Hong Kong was one of the targets hacked,” she said, adding that she suspected Leung might be waiting for orders from Beijing on what to do with Snowden.

“Many people in the US, Hong Kong and around the world might have had their privacy harmed by hacking activities... this involves an imperative moral principle,” Fan said.

The letter was to be sent via e-mail and post to the White House on Friday.

In addition to the lawmakers’ letter, numerous groups are planning a march to the US Consulate in Hong Kong to voice support for Snowden on Saturday afternoon.

Also on Friday, the Legislative Council annouced it would look into issues surrounding Snowden’s disclosures at a meeting next Wednesday.

Ma Fung-kwok, who requested the meeting, said he would ask the government how it would react to any US requests related to Snowden.

“There is an urgent need to explain to the public matters concerning a possible request for the extradition of Snowden,” said Ma, who represents the sports, performing arts, culture and publication sector.

He said he would also ask if the authorities had noticed any hacking into Hong Kong’s internet network since 2009, the time at which Snowden alleges the US launched hundreds of hacking operations agains the city and the mainland.

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This article is now closed to comments

hard times !
these two pan-democratic lawmakers look not sincere enough in saving the life of the hiding Edward Snowden but instead their so-called open letter to president Obama seems more like a propaganda gesture than any sincerity fo ask for a pardon of the fleeing leaker,former CIA cyber operative who has already leaked lots of top secrets of the National Security Agency of America through medias and has been branded a traitor by some congressmen in the States.Yet his disclosure of the cyber-espisonage on Hong Kong people' internet activities in the past four years should be complimented since we will be more cautious in our future communications on the internet through our computers or mobile phones and no more frim trust of the network suppiers such as Facebook,Yahoo, Google or Twitter and others as well !
VegasMadam
NSA-FBI-CIA SPY PIMPS
It's already proven that NSA uses private info as a Predator weapon against U.S. officials. Elliott Spitzer and Anthony Weiner were both hacked as an example also Rep. Duke Cunningham of the Armed Forces Committee was another victim, he was just paroled after 8 yrs in prison.
Former CIA chief General Petraeus, a phony sextortion scandal but of the same insider agenda, he was at the secretive Bilderberg conference last week to hobnob with the other Masters of the Universe.
Countless others are presently being sextorted in private by NSA, CIA, FBI, PIMPS. DC madam Palfrey and madam Brandi Britton in Baltimore were both CIA/military-sextortion escort services now both dead, also 2 more dead madams one from Alabama and one in China. I'm a victim as well for refusing to abet their scheme:
website: ****sites.google.com/site/CIAPIMPS/blog:
****VegasMadam.wordpress.com/
****
kim.chen.16568
just a gesture for exposure. nothing more than that. typical political opportunists
they succeeded anyway, SCMP grants an long article to them
mercedes2233
I have nothing to hide. The CIA is welcome to my inane postings and some travel and family photos. Hope they enjoy them too.
fearonjones
China and the USA should take note. People will not put up with this kind of big brother BS indefinitely.
seikocreamy
Who cares? People in Hong Kong will protest at anything.
heimaogui13
叛徒 !!! ...RIGHT NOW...I WANT ,ONLY ONE THING....CUT OF, YOUR HEADS AND HANDS,DRINK YOUR BLOOD,AND BRING YOUR HEADS IN 關羽 SHRINE...
almagi
All well all good,but...the real proving moment will be,if ever,when the Chinese Snowden/先生 雪巢穴shall appear.
caractacus
as if the US Govt is going to tremble in its boots at a warning and protest by petty HK city councillors who are posturing just to grab attention, look important, caring and politically correct.........
Matthew Chapter 6 verses 1 - 6
KwunTongBypass
hahahahihihhohoho
rao.nasir.900
up to I looked at the check ov $8866, I accept ...that...my mom in-law woz like actually taking home money part time at their laptop.. there mums best friend has done this for only 19 months and as of now cleared the loans on there apartment and got themselves a Ariel Atom. read more at........ Cat48.com
kwchong@gmail.com
go to the street to protest against US like you did many times to China.

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