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Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden to seek temporary asylum in Russia

Whistle-blower tells activists and officials he is out of options; Putin insists leaks must stop

PUBLISHED : Friday, 12 July, 2013, 4:08pm
UPDATED : Monday, 15 July, 2013, 3:44pm


  • Yes: 8%
  • No: 92%
13 Jul 2013
  • Yes
  • No
Total number of votes recorded: 359

Fugitive US intelligence whistle-blower Edward Snowden plans to seek asylum in Russia until he is able to travel to a Latin American country, he told a group of activists and officials yesterday.

Encamped at a Russian airport evading the reach of United States authorities, Snowden said he had sacrificed a comfortable life in disclosing US spying secrets but had no regrets.

"A little over one month ago, I had family, a home in paradise," he said in his first public remarks on what he sees as the personal cost of incurring Washington's anger by disclosing details of its electronic surveillance.

"I also had the capability without any warrant to search for, seize, and read your communications. Anyone's communications at any time. That is the power to change people's fates," he told human rights activists at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport. He has been living in its transit area since arriving on June 23 from Hong Kong, where he made his initial revelations.

Snowden, 30, in remarks relayed by the anti-secrecy group Wikileaks, said he would seek temporary asylum in Russia.

Video: Edward Snowden talks to human rights activists at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport

Russian authorities said he should not harm the interests of the US if he wants refuge in Russia - a condition set by President Vladimir Putin.

"Snowden is serious about obtaining political asylum in the Russian Federation," said Vyacheslav Nikonov, a pro-Kremlin lawmaker who attended the meeting with Snowden, who had not been seen in public since arriving from Hong Kong.

I had the capability without any warrant to search for, seize, and read your communications. Anyone's communications at any time. That is the power to change people's fates

Participants in the meeting said Snowden would seek to travel on to Latin America.

Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia have said they would be willing to grant asylum to Snowden.

"He wants to move further on, he wants to move to Latin America - he said it quite clearly," Tanya Lokshina, deputy head of the Moscow office of Human Rights Watch, said.

"But in order to be guaranteed safety here in Russia, the only way for him to go was to file a formal asylum plea."

Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, repeated earlier conditions that Snowden should stop harming the interests of the United States with more leaks if he wanted asylum.

Nikonov said that this message had got through.

"I asked him if he was ready to give up his political activity against the United States. He said, 'Definitely, yes, all this activity was in the past'," the lawmaker said.


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This article is now closed to comments

As a US Citizen the frightening conclusion I am forced to draw over the Snowden saga is that whatever information he possesses, it obviously exposes blatant abuses of the US Government spying on its own citizens without cause or without warrant. Why else would so much pressure be put on other countries such that even a Bolivian diplomatic airplane was forced to redirect its flight path. Perhaps the most distressing news of all is that most Americans I speak with don't really even care that the government is spying on them - saying that they have nothing to hide. What they don't realize is that spying on citizens is a "guilty until proven innocent" proposition - not the "innocent until proven guilty" concept the US justice system prides itself on.
John Adams
True - oh so true !
If I happen to mention WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION ....or whatever ... in my private emails I immediately become a NSA and CIA target. "Guilty until proved innocent "
In fact that single capitalized 4 -word line on the SCMP comment page has probably already flashed a light in NSA and now they are trying to track me down, if they have not done so already . Guess they already know where I live and have access to all my private emails
Whereas, in fact, I work for an International hi-tech company which has internal standards of export control which go far, FAR beyond any USA - export restrictions.
In fact I would say that our company is a world-wide benchmark for internal export controls
If we even sniff the slightest , possible, vaguest hint of any use of our products for making WEAPONS OF MASS DESTRUCTION we immediately cancel the sale of our products, regardless of the cost to ourselves.
And guess who our biggest competitor is ? It's a USA company, publicly -listed , which has openly sold thousands of products to Iran to help their uranium-enrichment program for NUCLEAR BOMBS.
That is why I hate USA double-speak hypocrisy and why I support Snowden.
John Adams
NSA: Guess you already have me in your sights and have read all my emails for the past n + 1 years. Happy ( and very boring) reading.
I have a very clean conscience, and have done my utmost in China business life these past 25 years to make sure none of our company's products ever ended up in the wrong hands. We operate internal export control restrictions far beyond anything imposed by the USA , either on USA companies nor on any other country's manufacturers
I already spoke to your HK consulate a year ago about blatant abuse of USA export restrictions to Iran by a listed - USA public company.
Check : ****thinkprogress.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/0103-Stuxnet-iran-nuclear-program_full_600.jpg
You know the case, I am sure. So why has the US govt not taken action against the directors of this USA company ? No need to answer, because we all know the answer : the USA protects its own, while trying to dominate the rest of the world.
So please stop telling the free world : "Do what we say / don't do what we do"
You are such hypocrites !
That's why I support Ed Snowden.
hard times !
Now our whistle-blower is seeking for a temporary asylum in Russia (which offered him an asylum in the first place) then he wishes to go to Latin America eventually.It may be the best option he could take at this critical moment when Uncle Sam blocks his road to Latin America and the risks to go there are really very big ! He is never a defector but a whistle-blower only ! The Obama administration has pressured him to remain on the soil of Russia or returned to the States for a so-called 'fair' trial !
hard times !
it is known that
once our whistle-blower
comes across
any unexpectied mishaps
more vital information
will be leaked
which definitely
unharmful to
Obama administration
now this blcak president
can ony
pray for his
most-wanted man's
safe and sound
hard times !
Snowden was smart enough to invite all those people from human rights organistations to his transit zone venue to ask for help for his temporary asylum in Russia (with a promise no more leaks of NSA's secrets there) and further travel to Latin American countries safely and legally.What a brilliant talent of our cyber era he looks and acts ! Take a well-deserved rest in Russia (which is geniunely not afraid of Uncle Sam nowadays in this practical world) while trying to date with Ms Anna Chapman who asked to marry you earlier on, our dear whistle-blower and human rights activist in Moscow ---- a place that I long to visit in coming Chinese New Year with my family.
Snowden has done a very good job he alone has accepted the challenge which is given by America so called a powerful county which puts a mask on world snowden is revolutionist so all we have to support him for his courage wish u good luck for his future, he will get peace of mind.


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