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Edward Snowden was granted temporary asylum in Russia for a year

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  • Cort Greene
    1. Photo of Edward #Snowden leaving Moscow airport today with #WikiLeaks
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1, 2013

      Photo of Edward
      Moscow airport today with
      #WikiLeaks <https://twitter.com/search?q=%23WikiLeaks&src=hash>' Sarah
      Harrison | Rossiya 24 pic.twitter.com/5KTq0E2t1m <http://t.co/5KTq0E2t1m>
      #Assange <https://twitter.com/search?q=%23Assange&src=hash>
      3. <https://twitter.com/wikileaks>*WikiLeaks*

      Edward Snowden was granted temporary asylum in Russia for a year and has
      now left Moscow airport under the care of WikiLeaks' Sarah Harrison

      Statement on Snowden�s Successful Russian Asylum Bid1 August 2013, 16:00

      Today, Thursday 1st August at 15:50 MSK, Edward Snowden was granted
      temporary asylum in Russia. He left Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow with
      WikiLeaks staffer and legal advisor Sarah Harrison who has accompanied him
      during his 39 day stay in the transit zone and continues to do so. Ms
      Harrison has remained with Mr Snowden at all times to protect his safety
      and security, including during his exit from Hong Kong. They departed from
      the airport together in a taxi and are headed to a secure, confidential

      On 16th July Mr Snowden made a request for temporary asylum to Russia.
      Despite the ongoing pressure from the United States, which has been trying
      to interfere with this sovereign process in violation of the UN Protocol on
      the Rights of Refugees, Russia has done the right thing and granted Mr
      Snowden temporary asylum. The certificate of temporary asylum by the
      Russian Federation lasts for one year and affords Mr Snowden the right to
      live in and travel around Russia, where he can now plan his next steps in
      safety. On receiving his asylum certificate Mr Snowden said: "Over the past
      eight weeks we have seen the Obama administration show no respect for
      international or domestic law, but in the end the law is winning. I thank
      the Russian Federation for granting me asylum in accordance with its laws
      and international obligations."

      WikiLeaks, whilst being a publishing organisation, also fights for the
      rights and protections of journalistic sources, and so has taken a leading
      role in assisting Mr Snowden secure his safety. Mr Snowden, an American
      citizen, was forced to flee his country to enable him to safely reveal to
      the public the crimes of his government. President Barack Obama while
      elected on a platform promising to protect whistleblowers, has now
      prosecuted more national security whistleblowers than all other presidents
      in United States history combined. This bellicose response from the US
      administration makes it clear that Snowden could not receive a fair trial.
      Assange said "This is another victory in the fight against Obama�s war on
      whistleblowers. This battle has been won, but the war continues. The United
      States can no longer continue the surveillance of world citizens and its
      digital colonization of sovereign nations. The public will no longer stand
      for it. Whistleblowers will continue to appear until the government abides
      by its own laws and rhetoric."

      WikiLeaks commends Russia for accepting Snowden�s request and supporting
      him when many countries felt so compromised by US threats that they could
      not. Throughout Snowden�s stay in the airport it has been heartening to see
      citizens of the United States, of Russia and the world supporting Mr
      Snowden. WikiLeaks would also like to extend their gratitude to the airport
      staff who have assisted in making the extended stay of Mr Snowden and Ms
      Harrison as comfortable and secure as possible, despite the difficult

      Mr Snowden and Ms Harrison have been staying in the airport for almost
      six weeks, having landed on an Aeroflot flight from Hong Kong on the 23rd
      June. They had been booked on a connecting flight the following day. Mr
      Snowden intended to request asylum in Latin America. However, after Mr
      Snowden�s departure was made public, the United States government canceled
      his passport, which rendered onward travel impossible.

      From within the transit zone of the airport, Mr Snowden and Ms Harrison
      spent a number of weeks prior to his Russian application assessing the
      options available to him to ensure his future safety. Without a passport
      and no immediate offers of the necessary safe passage, travel was
      impossible. Over twenty asylum requests to various countries were made to
      try to secure Mr Snowden�s passage. Throughout this period the United
      States took irregular and disproportionate actions to block Mr Snowden�s
      right to seek asylum: downing the plane of the President of Bolivia and
      making direct political and economic threats againt nations Mr Snowden
      requested assistance from. This is in violation of United Nations General
      Assembly Resolution 2312 (1967), which states that:

      "the grant of asylum. . . is a peaceful and humanitarian act and... as
      such, it cannot be regarded as unfriendly by any other State."

      Despite these actions, Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua stood strong and
      granted Mr Snowden asylum. At a meeting with lawyers and human rights
      organisations on the 12th July, Mr Snowden announced that he accepted
      Venezuela�s asylum offer, although ultimately US interference has, at least
      for the time being, prevented its practical acceptance.

      The Obama administration has demonstrated in its treatment of Bradley
      Manning, Thomas Drake, James Risen, James Rosen and others that the United
      States is no longer a safe place for whistleblowers and national security
      journalists. WikiLeaks urges that the US government amends its ways,
      reverse this trend and re-establish its moral authority. We will continue
      to defend Mr Snowden and urge the United States government to respect its
      constitution and international law.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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