• Sun
  • Dec 28, 2014
  • Updated: 7:25am
Edward Snowden
NewsWorld
SECURITY

Whistle-blower Snowden seeks asylum in China, among other nations, says Wikileaks

Fugitive whistle-blower also releases a statement, criticising the US and saying he remains 'unbowed' in his convictions

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 02 July, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 02 July, 2013, 11:06am
 

Former US spy agency contractor Edward Snowden broke his silence on Monday for the first time since fleeing to Moscow over a week ago, blasting the Obama administration and saying he remains free to make new disclosures about US spying activity.

Snowden, who faces espionage charges in the United States and believed to be staying in a transit area at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport, surfaced with a letter to the Ecuadorean government and in a statement released through anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, which has taken up his cause.

In the WikiLeaks statement he accused the Obama administration of deception in a campaign to prevent him from finding political asylum and of “leaving me a stateless person” by revoking his US passport.

WikiLeaks also disclosed on Monday that Snowden had prepared requests for asylum in countries including Russia, Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Cuba, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and Venezuela.

No matter how many more days my life contains, I remain dedicated to the fight for justice in this unequal world
Edward Snowden

Snowden, 30, had not been heard from in the eight days since he flew to Moscow from Hong Kong, where he had first taken refuge after fleeing Hawaii.

Snowden has sought asylum in Ecuador and in an undated letter sent to Ecuadorean President Rafael Correa, said the United States was illegally persecuting him for revealing its electronic surveillance programme, Prism, but made it clear he did not intend to be muzzled.

“I remain free and able to publish information that serves the public interest,” Snowden, who had been a contract employee for the US National Security Agency, said in the letter.

“No matter how many more days my life contains, I remain dedicated to the fight for justice in this unequal world. If any of those days ahead realise a contribution to the common good, the world will have the principles of Ecuador to thank.”

Snowden said the US government was persecuting him.

“While the public has cried out support of my shining a light on this secret system of injustice, the Government of the United States of America responded with an extrajudicial man-hunt costing me my family, my freedom to travel, and my right to live peacefully without fear of illegal aggression,” Snowden wrote.

In his WikiLeaks statement, Snowden lashed out at US President Barack Obama and Vice-President Joe Biden for pressing Ecuador to turn him away.

“This kind of deception from a world leader is not justice, and neither is the extralegal penalty of exile,” he said.

“Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right,” Snowden said. “A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum ... Their purpose is to frighten, not me, but those who would come after me.”

US Justice Department spokeswoman Nanda Chitre rejected Snowden’s claim that he was marooned “since he is still a United States citizen and his country is willing to take him back.”

“As the State Department has already said, the US government is prepared to issue individuals wanted on felony charges a one entry travel document to return home,” she said.

Video: Snowden can stay in Russia if he stops US leaks: Putin

Russian President Vladimir Putin said Snowden could stay in Russia on one condition.

“He must stop his work aimed at harming our American partners, as strange as that sounds coming from my lips,” he told reporters after a gas exporters’ conference in Moscow.

Putin said he suspected that Snowden would continue leaking information because “he feels himself to be a human rights activist.”

“So he must choose a country of destination and go there,” he said, speaking before the asylum request to Russia was reported. “Unfortunately, I don’t know when this will happen.”

Putin said Russia was not working with Snowden and had no intention of handing Snowden over to the United States.

“Russia has never given up anyone to anybody and does not plan to. And nobody ever gave anyone up to us,” Putin said.

Correa said on Sunday that Snowden’s fate was in Russia’s hands because Ecuador could not consider the plea until he reached Ecuador or one of its embassies.

Shortly after Snowden fled the United States to Hong Kong in May, and long before he arrived in Russia, Putin suggested the surveillance methods he revealed were justified in fighting terrorism, if carried out lawfully.

Although Russia has sometimes exchanged captured spies with the United States, Putin suggested on Monday that this was not on the cards for Snowden. “As for Mr. Snowden, he is not our agent and he is not working with us,” Putin said.

Obama, at a news conference in Tanzania, repeated that the United States was working through law enforcement channels to prod Russia to extradite Snowden.

Obama said there had been “high-level discussions with the Russians about trying to find a solution to the problem.”

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This article is now closed to comments

hard times !
Obtaining a political asylum by Mr.Snowden from Russia maybe the best option for our hero in this saga--------which all small nations fear to accept him due to the pressure from the Big Brother-------even the commerical sectors in Eduador object the acceptance of him though their country leaders might be eager to do so.Iceland has not yet accepted him,so does either Cuba nor Venezuela.Where could he go ? China ? No way ! Russia naturally remains the only and last option for him.His request for an asylum there becomes natural as Russia will definitely be a safe haven to him provided he won't reveal any more top secrets (might already be obtained by the KGB) of the NSA of America which inflict damages to so-called national interests of America and anti-terrorism.Anyway, I agree with mr.Adams that Snowden should be nominated the next candidate for the Nobel Prize of Peace !
John Adams
I hope that Russia does grant Snowden political asylum.
He deserves it.
Maybe one day Snowden will earn a Nobel peace prize
.
PS: NSA please stop hacking into my Hotmail... or whatever it is that you are doing with MSN to monitor my personal emails ! It now takes me several minutes to log into MSN / Outlook/ Live / Hotmail , whereas before my log-in was instantaneous.
All my other log-ins still work instantaneously as before.
hard times !
the total number of countries that Snowden seeks for political asylum has now totalled 19 instead of the earlier reported only 16.They cover Europe,S.America and Asia:China and India.Just wait and see which country is courageous and daring enough to accept this so-called traitor of America but People's Hero ( a modern Robin Hood).I think in the end he might leave Russia as his mission is to expose the top secrets of the NSA of America which has shocked the world already but Putin stressed that he can't expose his partner's secrets if he wants to stay in his country----a pre-conditon which can never be accepted by our whistle-blower and leaker who risked his life and freedom to reveal them ! Besides,it is learnt that Snowden had left a copy of this top-secret files in Hong Kong (maybe in our safe box of a certain bank or in a private friend's home ) before he left here on the morning of June 23rd for Moscow.
John Adams
"As the State Department has already said, the US government is prepared to issue individuals wanted on felony charges a one entry travel document to return home,”
What a 'wonderful, welcoming' statement from the US State Department !
It reminds me of the fate of Boxer the carthorse in Animal Farm.
When the pigs finally arranged for Boxer to be taken away they told Boxer and the other animals that Boxer was going away to "animal heaven".
In fact Boxer was being sent off to the knackers' yard.
How strange that Animal Farm now more closely describes the USA than an major ex-communist country ( Russia, China etc)
hard times !
Surprisingly,among the 16 nations that Snowden asked the Russian authorities to seek political asylum for him,China is one of them.It appears now he is no longer afraid of being called a spy or traitor to fall into the breast of communist countries such as China and Cuba.of course most countries that he seek political asylum are European countries such as France,Austria,Germany,Finland and ... plus countries in South America except China which is a country in the East ! We Chinese here in Hong Kong are indeed honoured.
hard times !
This so-called Chow Dao Fu is really a **** guy (stupid fool in Cantonese) indeed by attempting to mislead our dear and respectable writer, an American living in Hong Kong, Mr.John Adams whose computer might be hacked in already so did/does mine as well. But who cares or fear of the Big Brother nowadays ? Probably nobody except his running dogs like Japan(whose prime minister was bluntly rejected an interview by Obama after the visit of our President Xi to America) and the Philippines (whose navy and army are vigorously trained by the GIs now to serve as scapegoats once a Sino-Philipino war breaks out ! ) Right ? This Old Hong Kong fully support this whistle-blower----a modern Robin Hood who seeks justice at the risk of personal life and freedom---now he has become a stateless person for his passport has been revoked !
Dai Muff
You overestimate how much NSA cares about commenters on newspaper pages. And the hacking is often done at the microchip level so you would NEVER notice.
likingming
No wonder each and every american would like to arm themselves with pistols / guns.
chaz_hen
He'd better hope Russia accepts him. They have the hottest women of the bunch.
bolshoi
US Justice Department spokeswoman Nanda Chitre rejected Snowden’s claim that he was marooned “since he is still a United States citizen and his country is willing to take him back.”
What a creepy statement from the Big Brother...

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