Snowden hails 'extraordinary' EU move

2015-10-29 22:33
(Photo: file, AFP)

(Photo: file, AFP)

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

Strasbourg - US intelligence whistle-blower Edward Snowden on Thursday hailed a European Parliament vote urging EU member states to take him in and offer protection as an "extraordinary" gesture of support.

In a resolution, EU lawmakers called on the bloc's 28 member states to grant protection to Snowden as a "human rights defender" after he blew the lid on the US government's mass surveillance programmes.

In a tweet, Snowden said the vote was "extraordinary".

"This is not a blow against the US government, but an open hand extended by friends. It is a chance to move forward," he said in a second tweeted message.

MEPs urged member states to "drop any criminal charges against Edward Snowden, grant him protection and consequently prevent extradition or rendition by third parties, in recognition of his status as whistle-blower and international human rights defender".

Snowden has been living in exile in Russia since June 2013 and faces US charges of espionage and theft of state property which could put him in jail for 30 years.

He says he was doing his duty as a citizen by informing others about the surveillance programmes which scooped up massive amounts of personal data in the name of national security.

Earlier this month, he hailed the top EU court's decision to strike down a transatlantic data deal used by companies like Facebook to send citizens' personal data to the US.

The European Court of Justice said the "Safe Harbour" accord between the United States and the European Commission was invalid because it did not guarantee protection of Europeans' personal data.

In the resolution, lawmakers called on the European Commission to ensure that all data transfers to the United States should have an "effective level of protection that is essentially equivalent to that guaranteed in the EU".

They said too little has been done to safeguard citizens' fundamental rights following Snowden's revelations, which shocked many EU states, especially Germany after they showed that US intelligence had even snooped on German Chancellor Angela Merkel when she used her mobile phone.

MEPs also noted "recent laws in some member states that extend surveillance capabilities of intelligence bodies", citing the case of Britain, France and the Netherlands.

Read more on:    eu  |  edward snowden  |  us

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


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 network.


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.