Snowden wants Russia asylum

2013-07-12 17:52
NSA leaker Edward Snowden, at a news conference in the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport. (Tanya Lokshina, AP/Human Rights Watch)

NSA leaker Edward Snowden, at a news conference in the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport. (Tanya Lokshina, AP/Human Rights Watch)

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

Moscow - NSA leaker Edward Snowden wants to seek asylum in Russia, according to a Parliament member who was among about a dozen activists and officials to meet with him on Friday in the Moscow airport where he's been marooned for weeks.

Duma member Vyacheslav Nikonov told reporters of Snowden's intentions after the meeting behind closed doors in the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport.

A photo attributed to a Human Rights Watch representative who attended the meeting was posted on the Guardian and other websites, in the first image to appear of Snowden since the newspaper broke the story of widespread US internet surveillance based on his leaks.

Snowden is believed to have been stuck in the transit zone since 23 June, when he arrived on a flight from Hong Kong, where he had gone before his revelations were made public.

He had been expected to transfer in Moscow to a Cuba-bound flight, but did not get on the plane and had not been seen in public since then.

Snowden earlier made an initial bid for Russian asylum, but President Vladimir Putin said he would have to agree to stop leaking secrets about US intelligence before asylum would be considered. Snowden then withdrew his bid.

Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua recently have offered him asylum, but it is unclear if he could fly to any of those countries from Moscow without passing through airspace of the United States or its allies.

Dmitry Peskov, the spokesperson for Putin, told Russian news agencies after the announcement on Friday that Russia has not received a new bid for asylum from Snowden and that Putin would continue to insist that Snowden stop leaking information

The activists at the meeting included Sergei Nikitin, head of Amnesty International's Russia office, and Tatiana Lokshina, deputy head of the Russian office of Human Rights Watch. Also taken into the meeting room were Russia's presidential human rights ombudsman Vladimir Lukin, prominent attorney Genri Reznik, and Nikonov.

They came after an email in Snowden's name was sent on Thursday. On Facebook, Lokshina posted the text of the email, which says in part that Snowden wants to make "a brief statement and discussion regarding the next steps forward in my situation".

Hundreds of journalists flocked to the airport, but were kept in a hallway outside the meeting area which was behind a gray door marked "staff only." It was not clear if Snowden would have to come out that door or if he could exit by another route.

The text of the invitation did not directly address the offers of asylum, though it expressed gratitude for asylum offers and says "I hope to travel to each of them." It accuses the United States of "an unlawful campaign ... to deny my right to seek and enjoy this asylum."

Reznik said before the meeting that he expected Snowden called for it in order to seek asylum in Russia.

How much the human rights organisations could influence a Russian asylum bid or other aspects of Snowden's dilemma is unclear. Putin takes a dim view of non-governmental organizations' involvement in political matters.

But an appeal by Snowden to internationally respected groups could boost his status and give Russia a pretext for reconsidering asylum.

Russia has said it cannot extradite him because by remaining in the transit zone he is technically outside Russian territory.

- AP

Read more on:    edward snowden  |  russia  |  privacy
NEXT ON NEWS24X

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
10 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Wednesday Cape Town - 09:24 AM
    Road name: Koeberg Road Southbound
    DELAYS through Brooklyn towards the N1 Highway
  • Wednesday Cape Town - 09:21 AM
    Road name: N2 Inbound
    Earlier ACCIDENT before Hospital Bend has been moved to the side of the carriageway - HEAVY DELAYS from Duinefontein Road
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid 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

Nokia E7

Your mobile office Real-time emails with Mail for Exchange. Easy access to...

From R3499.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

You may find yourself fascinated by something which could draw you in to obsessively exploring this subject in depth....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.