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Published On: Wed, Jul 3rd, 2013

Edward Snowden requests asylum in 20 countries, Amnesty International calls US actions to prevent asylum ‘deplorable’

NSA whistleblower, Edward Snowden is still seeking some country to receive him as he awaits in the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport.

Image/CIA

Image/CIA

After asylum requests to Iceland, Russia and Ecuador, with no success to date, WikiLeaks’ legal advisor in the Edward Snowden matter, Sarah Harrison, submitted by hand a number of requests for asylum and asylum assistance on behalf of the NSA whistleblower.

The documents outline the risks of persecution Mr Snowden faces in the United States and have started to be delivered by the Russian consulate to the relevant embassies in Moscow, according to Wikileaks.

The requests were made to a number of countries including the Republic of Austria, the Plurinational State of Bolivia, the Federative Republic of Brazil, the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Cuba, the Republic of Finland, the French Republic, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Republic of India, the Italian Republic, the Republic of Ireland, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Republic of Nicaragua, the Kingdom of Norway, the Republic of Poland, the Russian Federation, the Kingdom of Spain, the Swiss Confederation and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

However, there has no takers yet.

India has announced their rejection of Snowden’s asylum request, a day after the US warned countries against granting asylum to Snowden, DNA Analysis reports.

“Our embassy in Moscow did receive a communication dated 30 June from Edward Snowden. That communication did contain a request for asylum,” said India’s ministry of external affairs spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin. “We have carefully examined the request. Following that examination we have concluded that we see no reason to accede to the request.”

Today, a plane carrying Bolivian President Evo Morales home from Russia was rerouted to Austria on Tuesday after France and Portugal refused to let it cross their airspace because of suspicions that  Snowden was on board, CBS News reports.

Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca blamed it on “unfounded suspicions that Mr. Snowden was on the plane.

“We don’t know who invented this lie,” Choquehuanca said. “We want to express our displeasure because this has put the president’s life at risk.”

The Telegraph reported today, Bolivian Defence Minister Ruben Saavedra said the US State Department may have been behind the decisions to not allow Morales’ plane to land in Portugal or fly over French air space.

“We have the suspicion that they (the two European governments) were used by a foreign power, in this case the United States, as a way of intimidating the Bolivian state and President Evo Morales,” he said.

These actions and others has prompted criticism from the human rights organization, Amnesty International Tuesday.

“The US attempts to pressure governments to block Snowden’s attempts to seek asylum are deplorable,” said Michael Bochenek, Director of Law and Policy at Amnesty International. “It is his unassailable right, enshrined in international law, to claim asylum and this should not be impeded.”

“Snowden is a whistleblower. He has disclosed issues of enormous public interest in the US and around the world. And yet instead of addressing or even owning up to these actions, the US government is more intent on going after Edward Snowden.”

“Any forced transfer to the USA would put him at risk of human rights violations and must be challenged,” said Michael Bochenek.

On Monday, Edward Snowden made a statement from Moscow:

One week ago I left Hong Kong after it became clear that my freedom and safety were under threat for revealing the truth. My continued liberty has been owed to the efforts of friends new and old, family, and others who I have never met and probably never will. I trusted them with my life and they returned that trust with a faith in me for which I will always be thankful.

On Thursday, President Obama declared before the world that he would not permit any diplomatic “wheeling and dealing” over my case. 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.

This kind of deception from a world leader is not justice, and neither is the extralegal penalty of exile. These are the old, bad tools of political aggression. Their purpose is to frighten, not me, but those who would come after me.

For decades the United States of America has been one of the strongest defenders of the human right to seek asylum. Sadly, this right, laid out and voted for by the U.S. in Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, is now being rejected by the current government of my country. The Obama administration has now adopted the strategy of using citizenship as a weapon. 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.

In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake. We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised — and it should be.

I am unbowed in my convictions and impressed at the efforts taken by so many.

Edward Joseph Snowden

Monday 1st July 2013

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About the Author

- Writer, Co-Founder and Executive Editor of The Global Dispatch. Robert has been covering news in the areas of health, world news and politics for a variety of online news sources. He is also the Editor-in-Chief of the website, Outbreak News Today and hosts the podcast, Outbreak News Interviews on iTunes, Stitcher and Spotify Robert is politically Independent and a born again Christian Follow @bactiman63

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  1. Edward Snowden has applied for asylum in six more countries, Bolivia not happy with US, Europe - The Global Dispatch says:

    […] saga of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden continues as the 30-year-old stranded in a Moscow airport continues to search for a place he can call home and South American countries demand apologies from some in […]

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