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Russia: Whistle-blower Edward Snowden trapped without legal protection

1st August 2014, 10:32:51 UTC

Reports that Edward Snowden has been living in Russia with precarious “temporary leave to remain” rather than under any formal asylum protection is further evidence he must be allowed to travel to and seek asylum in the country of his choice, said Amnesty International today.

Russia’s one-year permit for the whistle-blower and former US intelligence analyst to stay in the country is now reported to have expired without confirmation that it will be extended.

Colm O’Gorman, Executive Director, Amnesty International Ireland said: “Edward Snowden is cornered in a legal limbo, without a passport or asylum protection from any government.”

Edward Snowden is cornered in a legal limbo, without a passport or asylum protection from any government.

Colm O'Gorman, Executive Director of Amnesty International Ireland

States should fully consider any asylum application from Edward Snowden, taking into account the massive human rights violations that he exposed, and noting the US government’s repressive actions against him.

“We call on all governments not to block him from travelling in order to seek protection. By interfering in his ability to do so, they are effectively complicit with the USA in his unjustified and repressive punishment,” said Colm O’Gorman.

European states have reportedly refused to allow him to even cross their airspace to travel.

“The USA has revoked Edward Snowden’s passport, however any state could issue Edward Snowden with a travel document. We are calling on governments around the world to facilitate his travel and process any asylum application he should file,” said Colm O’Gorman.