Russia: Whistle-blower Edward Snowden trapped without legal protection

The reports that Edward Snowden has been living in Russia with precarious “temporary leave to remain” rather than under any formal asylum protection is further evidence he must be allowed to travel to and seek asylum in the country of his choice, said Amnesty International today.

Russia’s one-year permit for the whistle-blower and former US intelligence analyst to stay in the country is now reported to have expired without confirmation that it will be extended.

“Edward Snowden is cornered in a legal limbo, without a passport or asylum protection from any government,” said Sherif Elsayed-Ali, Deputy Director of Global Thematic Issues at Amnesty International.

States should fully consider any asylum application from Edward Snowden, taking into account the massive human rights violations that he exposed, and noting the US government’s repressive actions against him.

“We call on all governments not to block him from travelling in order to seek protection. By interfering in his ability to do so, they are effectively complicit with the USA in his unjustified and repressive punishment,” said Sherif Elsayed-Ali.

European states have reportedly refused to allow him to even cross their airspace to travel. 

“The USA has revoked Edward Snowden’s passport, however any state could issue Edward Snowden with a travel document. We are calling on governments around the world to facilitate his travel and process any asylum application he should file,” said Sherif Elsayed-Ali.