Edward Snowden, the fugitive NSA Leaker, may be getting desperate as country after country refuses to grant him asylum, and he remains stranded at an airport in Russia.
According to reports, Snowden has sought asylum from fifteen countries and so far none of the countries has come forward to grant him his request. In fact, several nations have outright rejected his request including Brazil, India, Norway, and Poland.
“I will not give a positive recommendation,” the Polish foreign minister, Radoslaw Sikorski, tweeted.
A spokesman for the Indian foreign ministry tweeted: “Following careful examination, we have concluded that we see no reason to accede to the Snowden request.”
Brazil said it did not feel Snowden’s request even deserved a response.
US has warned countries against granting Snowden sanctuary, saying that it is seeking the fugitive on espionage charges on leaking classified documents outlining the National Security Agency’s surveillance program called Prism.
According to reports, even the Ecuador’s president Rafael Correa has balked at the prospect of giving sanctuary to the fugitive.
President Correa told reporters Monday that Ecuador would not entertain Snowden’s asylum request. He added that Ecuador had not intended to facilitate his flight from Hong Kong to Moscow by giving him a temporary travel and that NSA leaker was Russia’s responsibility.
“Mr. Snowden’s situation is very complicated, but in this moment he is in Russian territory and these are decisions for the Russian authorities. Are we responsible for getting him to Ecuador? It’s not logical. The country that has to give him a safe conduct document is Russia,” Correa told reporters.
Referring to the temporary travel pass that Ecuador had given Snowden to replace his cancelled US passport, Correa said that was a mistake.
“It was a mistake on our part. Look, this crisis hit us in a very vulnerable moment. Our foreign minister was touring Asia. Our deputy foreign minister was in the Czech Republic. Our US ambassador was in Italy.”
Snowden’s temporary travel document was given issued by Ecuador’s London consul Fidel Navaraez. Correa said the document was issued “without validity, without authorization, without us even knowing.” He said Navaraez will be “sanctioned” for the mistake.
Correa’s remarks were in direct contrast to Snowden’s comments made a few hours later, making a personal plea and expressing his gratitude to the Ecuadorian president for his temporary travel document.
“I must express my deep respect for your principles and sincere thanks for your government’s action in considering my request for political asylum,” Snowden is said to have commented in a letter attributed to him.
“There are few world leaders who would risk standing for the human rights of an individual against the most powerful government on earth, and the bravery of Ecuador and its people is an example to the world.”
“The decisive action of your consul in London, Fidel Narvaez, guaranteed my rights would be protected upon departing Hong Kong – I could never have risked travel without that. Now, as a result, and through the continued support of your government, I remain free and able to publish information that serves the public interest.”
Correa, in the past week has softened his usual rebukes of the US and said he would consider Washington’s request to refuse Snowden asylum. Correia also praised vice-president Joe Biden for his gracious call to him.
By Perviz Walji
Sources: The Register, BBC News, Los Angeles Times