Russia would consider asylum for US whistleblower

US National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, an analyst with a US defence contractor, is pictured during an interview with the Guardian in his hotel room in Hong Kong June 9, 2013. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

US National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden, an analyst with a US defence contractor, is pictured during an interview with the Guardian in his hotel room in Hong Kong June 9, 2013. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

MOSCOW: Russia would consider an asylum request from US contractor Edward Snowden, who leaked information on the US government’s monitoring of Internet use and phone records, the spokesman for President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday.

Kommersant daily cited Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov as saying that Russia would consider such a request from Snowden, if it were made.

“We will take action based on what actually happens. If we receive such a request, it will be considered,” he told the newspaper.

Snowden’s whereabouts were shrouded in mystery as US lawmakers demanded his immediate extradition from Hong Kong over his sensational leaking of an Internet surveillance programme.

Snowden, a 29-year-old technology expert working for a private firm subcontracted to the US National Security Agency, checked out of his Hong Kong hotel after revealing his identity to the British-based Guardian newspaper on Sunday.

His explosive leaks last week of vast surveillance programs run by the NSA that trawl through telephone and Internet records have triggered widespread consternation, gaining him admirers but also critics who denounce him as a traitor.

Snowden told the Guardian he hopes to win asylum in Iceland, but the head of Iceland’s Directorate of Immigration said it had received no formal request and said Snowden would have to be on Icelandic soil to make one.

Source: Reuters

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s