Snowden to meet rights activists in Moscow

2013-07-12 16:36
A man walks on a lobby at the capsule hotel where National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden reportedly spent time at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow. (Sergei Grits, AP)

A man walks on a lobby at the capsule hotel where National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden reportedly spent time at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow. (Sergei Grits, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Moscow - US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden will on Friday meet with leading Russian rights activists and lawyers at the airport in Moscow where he has been stuck in transit for nearly three weeks.

Several campaigners have told AFP they will attend the 1300 GMT meeting after receiving an invitation from Snowden, in what will be the former government contractor's first publicised encounter since he arrived on a flight from Hong Kong.

According to the purported invitation from Snowden posted on social media by one activist, the fugitive wants to discuss his "next steps" forward.

He also rails against the "unlawful campaign" against him by Washington which is seeking his extradition after he leaked details of pervasive US intelligence surveillance

Those invited included representatives of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Transparency International as well as several prominent lawyers working in Moscow.

"I can confirm that Mr Snowden will hold a meeting with rights representatives on the territory of the airport," Sheremetyevo spokesperson Anna Zakharenkova told AFP.

"We will provide access and premises," she added, declining to provide further details.

‘Next steps’

Snowden has made no public appearances since arriving at the state-controlled airport in the Russian capital on 23 June. According to officials, he has spent the whole time in the airport transit zone.

Sergei Nikitin of the Moscow branch of Amnesty International told AFP he received an email inviting his group and said "we are planning to go".

Elena Panfilova of Transparency International said the "somewhat unexpected" invitation was being discussed. She said the email had come from an apparently secure email address in Snowden's name.

Tatyana Lokshina of Human Rights Watch in Moscow said on her Facebook page that she had also received an invitation from Snowden although she could not yet confirm "it was real".

She quoted the email as saying Snowden wanted to have the meeting for "a brief statement and discussion regarding the next steps forward in my situation".

Kristinn Hraffnson, spokesperson for the WikiLeaks anti-secrecy website which is supporting Snowden, told AFP that he could not confirm that the meeting was planned.

The email thanked Latin American states for considering an application for asylum but denounced "an unlawful campaign by officials in the US Government to deny my right to seek and enjoy this asylum".

Strained relations

Leftist Latin American states are seen as the most likely destination for Snowden, who has applied for asylum in 27 countries.

Bolivia, Venezuela and Nicaragua has all expressed readiness to consider giving Snowden asylum.

Prominent Moscow lawyer Genrikh Padva confirmed to AFP that he had received an invitation for a meeting at the airport on Friday afternoon, but did not believe he would have time to attend.

Olga Kostina, a rights activist who is a member of Russia's public chamber advisory body, told the state ITAR-TASS news agency that she would attend "if just out of curiosity".

Interfax said Russia's human rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin had been invited and he told the agency he was ready to attend the meeting.

A source had told Interfax the day earlier that the United States and Russia were now in "wait-and-see" mode over Snowden, indicating that a rapid solution to his presence may not be in sight.

President Vladimir Putin has vowed that Moscow will not extradite Snowden but also indicated the Kremlin is keen to see the back of a man who has added an additional problem to already strained relations with Washington.

The meeting comes after the United States on Thursday told China it was upset it did not hand over Snowden after he fled to Hong Kong, saying that the decision had undermined relations.

President Barack Obama, meeting senior Chinese officials who were in Washington for annual talks, "expressed his disappointment and concern" over the Snowden case, the White House said.


Read more on:    amnesty international  |  hrw  |  wikileaks  |  barack obama  |  vladimir putin  |  edward snowden  |  us  |  russia  |  privacy
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
6 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Hottie of the day: Nicole Meyer!

Nicole is the cover girl for the 2014 edition of SA Swimsuit! Check out some smoking hot pics of here here.

 
 

Men24.com

11 things men don’t know about their clothes
Hilarious mortal kombat elevator prank!
This is how the Top Gear presenters spend their £55 million!
Thirty and still single? There’s hope!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Save up to 60% on toys!

Don’t miss out on this hot offer, save up to 60% on toys. While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

The Moon has moved into your sign, emphasizing the need to connect things to work together. There is a tendency to focus too far...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.