Edward Snowden may have found a country where he can reside for a while. The former NSA contractor is charged with espionage for revealing confidential details and has been in hiding, reportedly in Moscow, ever since.
He was seeking asylum in more than a dozen countries, many of whom denied the request. It looks like Russia is where he’ll remain.
The Los Angeles Times reports:
Activist Tanya Lokshina, who attended the meeting with Snowden at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport, told the news service that the former contract worker for the National Security Agency wanted their help petitioning the U.S. and European states not to interfere with his asylum process.
[Updated at 7:40 a.m. July 12: Snowden said asylum in Russia, at least for now, is the only option he sees that would provide for his security, said Lokshina, director of the Human Rights Watch Moscow office.
“Basically he asked us to help him on two issues: first to petition for his request for asylum to [Russian President Vladimir] Putin, at least until he could travel to Latin America,” Lokshina told The Times. “Secondly he would like us to appeal to the governments of the United States and countries of European Union not to interfere with his asylum-seeking process.”
Snowden said that it would be easy for him to comply with Putin’s earlier demand “not to do harm” to the United States, Lokshina said. “I didn’t do any damage to the United States,” Lokshina quoted Snowden as saying.
“Our organization will discuss his request, but I think that Snowden deserves to be rendered assistance he asked us for,” she added.]
Venezuela is one of the South American nations offering to take him in. With such a large target on his back, Snowden could have trouble making it over on a commercial flight. Bolivian President Evo Morales rerouted his plane believing the high school dropout was on board, only to propose his country as a sanctuary for Snowden three days later.
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