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Snowden to Meet with Human Rights Groups

  • VOA News

A banner supporting Edward Snowden, a former contractor at the National Security Agency (NSA), is displayed at Hong Kong's financial Central district on June 21, 2013

A banner supporting Edward Snowden, a former contractor at the National Security Agency (NSA), is displayed at Hong Kong's financial Central district on June 21, 2013

Former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden is reported to have a meeting scheduled with human rights groups at the Moscow airport where he has sheltered for the past three weeks while trying to find a country to grant him asylum.

Russian officials said early Friday that a meeting between Snowden and representatives from several rights groups, including Amnesty International, is set for Friday in the transit zone of the airport.

The 30-year-old Snowden leaked secret details of surveillance programs conducted by the clandestine U.S. National Security Agency.

The United States is seeking Snowden's extradition on espionage charges, but Russia has refused to release him to U.S. custody, while urging him to depart for another country.

The leaders of Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia have said they would take in Snowden. But Snowden's exit from Moscow is complicated because the U.S. revoked his passport.

Earlier this week, Snowden explained his disclosure of clandestine American surveillance programs in a newly released segment of a video recorded last month. Britain's Guardian newspaper released the video Tuesday of a June 6 interview conducted in Hong Kong, where Snowden fled last month before flying to Moscow.

Snowden said in the video that he knew the United States would accuse him of espionage in alerting the country's enemies of the surveillance. But he said the United States is also at fault for monitoring the phone records of its citizens and keeping track of Internet connections with possible terrorists.
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