News / USA

Snowden Applies for Asylum in More than 20 Countries

An employee distributes newspapers, with a photograph (R) of former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden seen on a page, at an underground walkway in central Moscow, Russia, July 2, 2013.
An employee distributes newspapers, with a photograph (R) of former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden seen on a page, at an underground walkway in central Moscow, Russia, July 2, 2013.
— Fugitive former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden has applied for asylum in at least 20 countries, but he has dropped his bid for permanent refuge in Russia.

Snowden's request for asylum in these countriesSnowden's request for asylum in these countries
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Snowden's request for asylum in these countries
Snowden's request for asylum in these countries
WikiLeaks’ legal adviser Sarah Harrison submitted the asylum requests for Edward Snowden by delivering the documents to an official at the Russian Consulate at Moscow’s Sheremetevo airport, where Snowden has been holed up for more than a week, in a sort of diplomatic purgatory.

Snowden has been on the run since last month, after releasing secret NSA documents that detailed U.S. surveillance of domestic and international telephone and Internet use.  

Among the countries where Snowden is seeking asylum are Poland, Germany, Iceland, Austria and Ecuador. But European leaders say that Snowden most likely would have to be on a country’s soil in order to be granted asylum.

Snowden also applied for asylum in India.

Syed Akbaruddin, a spokesman for India’s Foreign Ministry, said, "I can confirm that earlier today our embassy in Moscow did receive a communication from Edward Snowden. That communication did contain a request for asylum. We have carefully examined the request. Following that careful examination, we have concluded that we see no reason to accede to that request."

In a statement - his first public comment since coming to Russia - Snowden said President Barack Obama is trying to persuade countries not to give him asylum.

Snowden withdrew his asylum request to Russia when he learned President Vladimir Putin would consider it only if he stopped leaking U.S. secrets. But Mr. Putin says Russia will not send Snowden back to America to face charges of espionage.  

Mr. Putin met with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro Tuesday in Moscow. News reports say they discussed Snowden but Mr. Maduro later told reporters his country has not received an asylum application from the American.

The Venezuelan leader said Snowden deserves protection under international and humanitarian law.

After arriving in Moscow from Hong Kong on June 23, Snowden was reported to have initially booked flights to Havana, Cuba, and then on to Caracas, Venezuela, before becoming trapped in legal limbo.   

WikiLeaks said asylum requests have also been made to Bolivia, Brazil, China, Cuba, France, India, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Spain and Venezuela.  

Meanwhile, Poland joined several staunch U.S. allies in Europe who are demanding an explanation from Washington about allegations, based on Snowden leaks, that U.S. agencies spied on European Union communications.

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by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
July 04, 2013 1:10 AM
USA seems no longer need to acuse Snoden because he only revealed the routine works done by every governments around the world according to the anouncements of US officials. And USA has no longer rights to accuse China for its cyber attacks because there is no country which does not think its secrets are exposed to foreign agency.Those who allow to have their secrets stolen are stupid rather than those who have stolen.

I am sure US officials could have made more sophisticated excuse for what revealed it has been stolen ally's intelligence in the way unlikely saying every body is doing the same things.


by: manikandan.n from: chennai,india
July 03, 2013 12:25 AM
Edward snowdon is a single person only , he is not a member or leader of one or more group , so give a grace points to showdon ,someone take this issue as a problem . As per a democracy country it is a negleable error only or it is not at all a error as a single men activity so WORLD LEADERS TRY TO CONSIDER A EDWARD SITUATION (for maintain a humanity)


by: Anonymous from: Canada
July 02, 2013 8:49 PM
I wish Russian or China could grant him asylum, there are the only countries powerful enough and brave enough to challege US!


by: Yoshi from: Sapporo
July 02, 2013 7:27 PM
What makes Snoden and his supporter Wikileaks eager to seek asylum? What sentence could be expected if he goes back to US?


by: Anonymous from: Germany
July 02, 2013 2:04 PM
I'd give him asyl anytime, I wish I could work on it. He is the real hero of todays 4th of July, he defended democracy and human rights with revealing the most worse mess ever.


by: GH1618 from: USA
July 02, 2013 12:39 PM
The large number of asylum requests suggests that Snowden is not in control of his fate. He is desperate for a safe haven, and will likely end up somewhere not to his liking. It is interesting that he has declined to live a quiet life in Russia. His inability to be discreet may be his undoing.


by: FocusOnWhatIsRelevant
July 02, 2013 11:29 AM
IT DOESNT MATTER WHAT HAPPENS TO SNOWDEN. Stop letting the media take focus away from what is important. WHAT RELEVANT IS WHAT HE HAS OPENLY EXPOSED. If you agree please stop posting opinions about Snowden. If you feel that he is more important than the information he exposed, then it is obvious what your stance is.

In Response

by: GH1618 from: USA
July 02, 2013 12:33 PM
Snowden's revelations are not that interesting. Signals intelligence has been around since the European (First World) War. Many people assume that nations eavesdrop on one another and some of us even knew of the specific programs he first revealed. The latest leak regarding spying on the European Union is more interesting, but Spiegel Online reported that Germany cooperated in setting up NSA snooping there. One lesson that comes out of this is the great damage to international relations that can be caused by one rogue intelligence clerk.

"The Sorrows of Young Snowden" is a fascinating tale. We are wondering how and when the denouement will come about. We know how the story about spying on our allies will turn out. There will be a lot of squawking for public consumption, there will be private discussions among the western allies about what sort of intelligence is properly collected, there may be some adjustments made, then everyone will go back to business as usual.


by: seqdom from: Columbus, OH
July 02, 2013 11:11 AM
Does he know India was considering monitoring Facebook and other social media in wake of the Arab spring? He is just messing around.


by: Luis from: Venezuela
July 02, 2013 10:33 AM
How can Snowden say he is against unlawful spying by the US Government on its people and others, and then be willing to go to Venezuela where the Government does the same type of spying on its people? The Venezuelan government even stole the last elections by committing electronic voting fraud.
This makes no sense, Mr. Snowden! You would lose all the credibility you have earned if you choose to go to Venezuela.


by: bobcat from: The World
July 02, 2013 10:28 AM
What does he mean by "unilateraly revoked"? It's not like other countries have a say in who recieves the privliges of a US Passport....

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