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Snowden seeks asylum from several countries including China, Russia


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Applications for asylum or asylum assistance were submitted on behalf of former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden to a number of countries including China, Russia, and India, whistle-blower site WikiLeaks said Tuesday.

Snowden, who leaked information about NSA surveillance programs, was charged by the U.S. in a federal court for theft of government property, unauthorized communication of national defense information and willful communication of classified communications intelligence information to an unauthorized person. The complaint in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia was filed on June 14.

The asylum-related requests were submitted by hand by Sarah Harrison, WikiLeaks' legal advisor in the Snowden matter, to an official at the Russian consulate at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow late Sunday evening, WikiLeaks said.

Among the countries approached were Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Cuba, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and Venezuela. A Russian official has confirmed receiving an application for asylum in the country, according to reports.

"The requests join or update others previously made including to the Republic of Ecuador and the Republic of Iceland," WikiLeaks said in a statement.

WikiLeaks did not provide information on the outcome of the requests, except that the requests have started to be delivered by the Russian consulate to relevant embassies in Moscow.

Snowden's request for asylum in Ecuador hasn't moved because the government of Ecuador wants him to seek asylum from Ecuador territory, according to reports. U.S. vice president Joe Biden is also said to have spoken to Ecuador President Rafael Correa to ask him not to grant Snowden asylum.

Snowden, who is said to be in the transit facility of the airport in Moscow after the U.S. revoked his passport, on Monday criticized the "deception" of U.S. President Barack Obama who last week said that he would not permit any diplomatic "wheeling and dealing" over the Snowden issue.

"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 said in a statement released through WikiLeaks.

The Obama administration has now adopted the strategy of using citizenship as a weapon, Snowden wrote. "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."

The NSA was allowed by a court order to collect phone metadata of a large number of customers of Verizon, according to a report in the Guardian last month. The information was said to have been leaked by Snowden who also passed on documents that suggested that the NSA had real-time access to the content on servers of Internet companies like Facebook and Google.

26 U.S. senators, cutting across party lines, said on Friday they are seeking "public answers" on a number of issues related to the surveillance, including whether the National Security Agency collected in bulk other data such as credit card purchases and financial information in the U.S. besides phone records, and specific evidence of how the surveillance helped foil terrorist plots.

New legislation, introduced last week in the U.S. Senate, called the FISA Accountability and Privacy Protection Act of 2013, aims to reform the Patriot and FISA Amendments Acts to provide greater oversight and control to the government's surveillance programs.

Whistle-blowers, authors, academicians and actors have urged Correa to grant Snowden political asylum, stating that the Obama administration, U.S. Congress and most of the media have focused "their ire on the messenger," instead of focusing on the danger to citizens' freedom and privacy exposed by the revelations, and the reforms necessary to protect citizens' rights. A letter signed by Pentagon papers whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg, author Noam Chomsky and film director Oliver Stone, among others, was released Monday by organization Just Foreign Policy.

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India rejected his plea for asylum - that was quite saddening (they should have been braver, IMO.)

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India rejected his plea for asylum - that was quite saddening (they should have been braver, IMO.)

If I would have been on top, that Krushid guy would have been mercilessly kicked out of his office for his shameless, brainless and senseless comment on this issue.

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India rejected his plea for asylum - that was quite saddening (they should have been braver, IMO.)

If I would have been on top, that Krushid guy would have been mercilessly kicked out of his office for his shameless, brainless and senseless comment on this issue.

Well, I've come across a lot of loud farts and no sh!t - in my time. :think:

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the one constant thing i keep thinking about is even tho the USA has done some things wrong....past present and future...it STILL remains one of the few countries in the world that has the least amount of or the least benign political and police and military corruption and has THE most freedoms for the people who live there...despite what some think...not many countries let people live more than few seconds if they get caught doing what snowden did...whether snowden was correct or not or the country was correct or not... the USA still with all it's faults is STILL by far one the top places in the world to live...The people actually do have the power in the USA... despite what some say,.. this story... it is not among the best things that happen but i would not trade living in North America for any other place in the world... there are but a handful of countries that have true freedom the usa is one of them... gop to almost any country in the world aside form the few true democracies... and stand on a soap box and speak against police, military and political corruption and see how long you are walking the streets.

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politicians are sure not corrupt, they're just puppets in the hand of the lobbies, like in all western world.

and america loves to overpass their freedom (which normally should stop when those of other begins) and act more than often like a bully boy

and for the freedom of speed, they have nothing to fear just as long as you keep talking. if you get too annoying , they will know how to discredit you if they want to anyway.

for sure, sowden would have open his mouth in the usa about that, not only the world would have not known about what is happening but he would not be walking the street anymore, like manning.

the rant you having is exactly the kind of word those people at the top in the western would have in order to keep things at a statu quo, as those in power want to stay at the top. stop complaining when we are better than most country, while they should say thanks for complaining so that we can get even better than we are

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I suppose some courageous country like China or Korea may not mind granting asylum to Snowden. :think:

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