News / USA

Report: NSA Leaker to Fly to Venezuela After Leaving HK

A plane believed to carry Edward Snowden, the former contractor for the U.S. National Security Agency, lands in Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, June 23, 2013.
A plane believed to carry Edward Snowden, the former contractor for the U.S. National Security Agency, lands in Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, June 23, 2013.
VOA News
The former U.S. intelligence contractor wanted by the United States for leaking classified information flew from Hong Kong to Moscow on Sunday, and Russia's state news agency says he will fly on to Cuba and then Venezuela in a bid for political asylum.

Edward Snowden had been in hiding in Hong Kong since leaving the United States last month and releasing documents that indicated the extent of U.S. monitoring of telephone and Internet communications. He had said he would stay and fight extradition in Hong Kong, but left after the U.S. Justice Department unsealed espionage chages against him.

The Russian news agency, ITAR-Tass, quoted Aeroflot as saying Snowden was due to fly from Moscow to the Cuban capital Havana on Monday, before taking another flight to the Venezuelan capital, Caracas. The website Wikileaks said it was supporting Snowden in his attempt to seek asylum.

Venezuela is one of Latin America's strongest critics of U.S. foreign policy, but the two countries maintain diplomatic relations. There was no immediate word from the Venezuelan government about whether it would grant asylum to Snowden.

The United States had asked Hong Kong to extradite Snowden last week, after charging him with espionage and theft of U.S. government property for providing newspapers with classified documents about U.S. surveillance programs. The government of the autonomous Chinese region said the 30-year-old was free to leave Sunday because the U.S. extradition request did not fully comply with Hong Kong legal requirements.

The U.S. Justice Department issued a statement saying it will continue to discuss the matter with Hong Kong and pursue "relevant law enforcement cooperation" with other countries where Snowden may be attempting to travel.

Anti-secrecy organization WikiLeaks said its legal advisors and unnamed diplomats accompanied Snowden on his flight out of Hong Kong. It said Snowden had requested the group's legal expertise and experience to secure his safety.

WikiLeaks said it will help Snowden to find political asylum in what it called a "democratic nation."

U.S. National Security Adviser Tom Donilon said Saturday Washington expected [Hong Kong authorities] to arrest and extradite Snowden on the basis of a bilateral agreement. A senior U.S. administration official warned that any failure on the part of Hong Kong to act on the U.S. request will "complicate...bilateral relations."

The former contractor for the U.S. National Security Agency leaked documents showing that U.S. intelligence services have gathered data for years about patterns of telephone and Internet use at home and abroad.

Snowden told several newspapers that he exposed the programs because he believes they violate the rights of private citizens.

Senior U.S. officials have said the surveillance programs do not monitor the content of phone conversations, but look for patterns in the metadata, including information on the time, date and numbers called.

U.S. authorities also have said the programs prevented at least 50 terrorist plots worldwide since the September 11, 2001 attacks on the United States. They also have accused Snowden of weakening their ability to foil future plots.

You May Like

Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

Ninety percent of homes in one small village were damaged or destroyed as government forces failed to stop a rebel advance More

Pakistan’s 'Last Self-Declared Jew' Attacked, Detained

Argument about the rights of non-Muslims in Pakistan allegedly results in mob beating well-known Jewish Pakistani More

Turkey Cracks Down on Political Dissent, Again

People daring to engage in political dissent ahead of upcoming general elections could find themselves in jail More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobanii
X
Mahmoud Bali
March 06, 2015 8:43 PM
Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Their Own Words: Citizens of Kobani

Civilians are slowly returning to Kobani, after Kurdish fighters backed by coalition airstrikes fought off a four-month siege of the northern Syrian town by Islamic State militants. VOA Kurdish Service reporter Mahmoud Bali talked to some of those who have returned. We hear about the devastation of Kobani through their own words.
Video

Video In Ukraine's Nikishino, No House Untouched by Fighting

In the village of Nikishino, in eastern Ukraine, recent fighting has brought utter devastation. Ninety percent of the houses are damaged or destroyed after government forces tried and failed to stop rebels advancing on the strategically important town of Debaltseve nearby. Patrick Wells reports for VOA from Nikishino.
Video

Video Crime Scenes Re-Created in 3-D Visualization

Police and prosecutors sometimes resort to re-creations of crime scenes in order to better understand the interaction of all participants in complicated cases. A Swiss institute says advanced virtual reality technology can be used for quality re-creations of events at the moment of the crime. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Sierra Leone Ebola Orphans Face Another Crisis

There's growing concern about the future of an orphanage run by a British charity in Sierra Leone, after a staff member and his wife died this week from Ebola. The Saint George Foundation Orphanage in Freetown is now in quarantine, with more than 20 children and seven staff in lock-down. The BBC has agreed to share Ebola-related material with Voice of America because of the difficulties faced by media organizations reporting the crisis. Clive Myrie reports from Sierra Leone.
Video

Video Growing Concerns Over Whether Myanmar’s Next Elections Will Be Fair

Myanmar has scheduled national elections for November that are also expected to include a landmark referendum on the country's constitution. But there are growing concerns over whether the government is taking the necessary steps to prepare for a free and fair vote. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman was recently in Myanmar and files this report from our Southeast Asia bureau in Bangkok.
Video

Video Nigeria’s Ogonis Divided Over Resuming Oil Production

More than two decades ago, Nigeria’s Ogoni people forced Shell oil company to cease drilling on their land, saying it was polluting the environment. Now, some Ogonis say it’s time for the oil to flow once again. Chris Stein reports from Kegbara Dere, Nigeria.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More