30-year-old American Edward Snowden, a contract employee at the National Security Agency, is the whistleblower behind significant revelations that surfaced in June 2013 about the US government's top secret, extensive domestic surveillance programmes. Snowden flew to Hong Kong from Hawaii in May 2013, and supplied confidential US government documents to media outlets including the Guardian.
British aide to Snowden advised to stay in Berlin
Sarah Harrison, the British journalist and Wikileaks staffer who has been acting as an assistant to Edward Snowden since his arrival in Moscow, has left Russia and joined the growing band of net activists stranded in Berlin.
A statement released on the Wikileaks website, attributed to Harrison, states that she arrived in Germany on Saturday and has been advised by her lawyers that it is "not safe to return home" to the UK.
Harrison joins a growing group of journalists and activists who were involved in the publication of Snowden's files and are now living in the German capital "in effective exile", including Laura Poitras.
The statement, which is also quoted on the website of Der Spiegel, accused the US and UK governments of using "aggressive tactics" against journalists who have reported on unethical surveillance practices.
"It should be fanciful to suggest that national security journalism which has the purpose of producing honest government or enforcing basic privacy rights should be called 'terrorism', but that is how the UK is choosing to interpret this law," the statement read.
Harrison has appeared in many photos of Snowden which have emerged from Russia. Last Thursday, she was present at the meeting between him and German Green politician Hans-Christian Strobele in Moscow.