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Edward Snowden emerges, asks Russia for temporary asylum so he can "freely move around."

Fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has met human rights groups and lawyers at a Moscow airport, in his first appearance in three weeks.

In a statement, Mr Snowden said he was requesting asylum in Russia because he was unable to travel to Latin America, where Venezuela had granted him asylum.

He had dropped an earlier Russian application after Moscow said he could stay only if he stopped the US leaks.

The Kremlin reiterated its condition on Friday.

"Mr Snowden could hypothetically stay in Russia if he first, completely stops the activities harming our American partners and US-Russian relations and, second, if he asks for this himself," President Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.

Russian lawmaker Vyacheslav Nikonov, who attended the meeting at Sheremetyevo airport, said Mr Snowden had not specified whether he was seeking temporary or permanent asylum.

"He said that he needs asylum in Russia to freely move around," Mr Nikonov said. "It suits him perfectly well staying in the airport because everything is fine here. The only thing he wants is to be given freedom of movement."

Mr Snowden is wanted by the US on charges of leaking secrets about US surveillance schemes. The former CIA contractor has been stuck in transit since arriving in Moscow from Hong Kong on 23 June.

He is unable to leave the transit zone without asylum documents, a valid passport or a Russian visa, none of which he reportedly has.

The American has sent requests for political asylum to at least 21 countries, most of which have turned down his request. However, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Venezuela have indicated they could take him in.

But some European countries are likely to close their airspace to any plane suspected of carrying the fugitive.

'Unlawful campaign' On Friday, Mr Snowden said he formally accepted all offers of support or asylum he had already received "and all others that may be offered in the future".

But he added that the US and some European countries had "demonstrated a willingness to act outside the law".

"This unlawful threat makes it impossible for me to travel to Latin America and enjoy the asylum granted there in accordance with our shared rights," Mr Snowden said in a statement released on the Wikileaks website.

He also asked the rights groups and lawyers present at the airport meeting to assist him "in requesting guarantees of safe passage from the relevant nations in securing my travel to Latin America, as well as requesting asylum in Russia".

Mr Snowden had invited around 10 activists, including Sergei Nikitin, the head of Amnesty International's Russia office, prominent Moscow lawyer Genri Reznik and Russia's presidential human rights ombudsman, Vladimir Lukin.

Mr Lukin was later quoted by Interfax news agency as saying Mr Snowden should be given refugee status instead of political asylum in Russia. "It would be better if the UN or Red Cross did it," he said.

Last month, Mr Snowden had already tried to apply for Russian asylum but President Putin said at the time he would only be welcome if he stopped "his work aimed at inflicting damage on our American partners".

A large press scrum had gathered at the airport ahead of Friday's meeting, which was closed to journalists. Ms Lokshina released a photo showing Mr Snowden at the talks. The fugitive, who is reportedly staying at the airport's Capsule Hotel, had not been seen in public in nearly three weeks.

He had sent his meeting request via an email message, which instructed those attending to bring a copy of the invitation and identification papers because of tight security.

'Act of espionage'

Also on Friday, members of the Mercosur, the South American trade bloc, were gathering in the Uruguayan capital of Montevideo to discuss allegations of US spying over Latin American governments.

Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff told reporters that "any act of espionage that violates human rights deserves to be condemned by any country that calls itself democratic".

(more at link)

by Anonymousreply 1408/09/2013

He better no like cock.He'll be arrested.

by Anonymousreply 107/12/2013

[quote]But he added that the US and some European countries had "demonstrated a willingness to act outside the law".

[quote]"This unlawful threat makes it impossible for me to travel to Latin America and enjoy the asylum granted there in accordance with our shared rights," Mr Snowden said in a statement released on the Wikileaks website.

If countries don't want him in their airspace, how is that "unlawful?"

Does he not see the supreme irony of asking Russia asylum so he can move about freely and Venezuela because he wants to be free of potential domestic spying?

If he move to Venezuela, he WILL, rest assured, become the target of domestic spying. They might even record his private phone conversations, edit them down, and play them on national TV for political, entertainment, and ridicule purposes. Political enemies of the government get this treatment on a regular basis.

by Anonymousreply 207/12/2013

What the fuck did he think was going to happen? He seems to be a tad on the naive side. He fled the country after divulging secret information. Did he think there would be a parade for him and not repercussions. At least other "whistleblowers" stood up for what they did and faced up to the blowback. He's just running and playing the victim card. He had a choice.

by Anonymousreply 307/12/2013

I'm over this queen.

by Anonymousreply 407/12/2013

He'll never be over himself. His martyrdom is sealed.

[quote]"A little over one month ago, I had family, a home in paradise, and I lived in great comfort," Snowden said. "I also had the capability without any warrant to search for, seize, and read your communications. Anyone's communications at any time. That is the power to change people's fates."

by Anonymousreply 507/12/2013

Given the extreme reaction by the Obama Administration and most members of Congress, I am now on Snowden's side. When the president of Bolivia's plane was forced to land in Austria because four European countries would not allow the plane to fly through their air spaces, it difficult not to conclude that the U.S. looks foolish acting like a school-yard bully.

by Anonymousreply 607/12/2013

R6 just because you hate the government you don't have to be on Snowden's side. You can dislike both like I do.

by Anonymousreply 707/12/2013

I don't think the government's reaction has been extreme. If a Republican had been in office, Snowden would be in a lot worse shape right now.

He's getting annoying, and I think public opinion is starting to sway against him. He really does think he's very important, doesn't he?

by Anonymousreply 807/12/2013

Fuck this bitch.

by Anonymousreply 907/12/2013

He could have "exposed" the domestic spying, stayed here and faced the consequences. Fact is, this was disclosed in 2006. I signed many petitions against allowing the NSA the power to do this. Anyone who didn't hear about this years ago is not paying attention.

If he was arrested, he could have asked for a speedy trial and gotten himself a decent lawyer to point out that this was known information.

But when he disclosed US espionage on China, he went over the line. China steals information which cost the US billions of dollars in R&D money. China steals the information via computer. Of course we are going to keep tabs on the Chinese. But you don't go around giving the facts out about this any more than a Chinese guy in China can give out information about how China spies on us.

He's a real tool. Daniel Ellsberg was willing to go to trial and jail. And Ellsberg defended himself quite well here in the US.

by Anonymousreply 1007/12/2013

[quote]Fact is, this was disclosed in 2006

The NSA has been eavesdropping on telephone communication with foreign countries for ages, long before 2006. An acquaintance from college was recruited by the NSA back in '85. He said that it was standard practice for telecommunications with particular countries. You can probably guess which.

by Anonymousreply 1107/12/2013

Do you all think China and Russia are not doing the same thing to their people and probably listening on our conversations too?

China recently created the most powerful computer in the world that eclipses the former first place holder made in the US. With their technology, they are spying on us left and right.

With the advent of technology this was bound to happen.

I may be in the minority, but this guy is no hero. He is a felon who ran to seek asylum in the most corrupt places on earth. I am surprised at the support for him. If he wanted to break the law as an act of civil disobedience, he should have faced the music.

by Anonymousreply 1207/13/2013

Please call me once Snowden emerges from his comatose state.

by Anonymousreply 1307/15/2013

Is anyone surprised that Russia gave at minimum a one year asylum to Snowden? Putin has nothing but contempt for Obama and knows he is a weak sister who won't do anything. Look at the pictures of the two at their last meeting. Putin looked at Obama like he was a six foot steaming turd. Russia is also cracking down on gay meetings, adoptions, and foreigners who promote any gay activities. Putin knows the U.S. won't do anything other than send a sternly worded letter from the State Department that will wind up in Putin's shredder. He couldn't care less what we think.

by Anonymousreply 1408/09/2013
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