Edward Snowden has released a new public statement, this time slamming American president, Barack Obama, suggesting that while on one hand he had said he wouldn’t pressure foreign nations into not granting Snowden asylum, that’s exactly what he’s done.
In the statement, released by Wikileaks (via The Guardian), Snowden said that Obama had promised not to engage in political “wheeling and dealing,” to do with his case. He went on to say however, that in-fact, Obama ordered his vice president, Joe Biden, to pressure countries – specifically Ecuador – to not grant Snowden asylum in their countries.
“This kind of deception from a world leader is not justice, and neither is the extralegal penalty of exile. These are the old, bad tools of political aggression,” he said.
It was revealed yesterday that Snowden had sent a letter to the Equadorian president, Rafael Correa, praising his bravery for pledging to allow Snowden into the country and offer him safe haven. However, now that same president has said that Equador will not help Snowden leave the Moscow airport he currently resides in. He went on to blame the confusion as a mis-translation from its embassy.
Snowden also highlighted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in his statement, suggesting that Obama’s actions and those of his vice president, were in contradiction with it – specifically article 14 which says: “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.”
Wikileaks and its founder, Julian Assange, have stood behind Snowden since he outed himself via a Guardian story“Although I am convicted of nothing, [the US] has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person,” he said. “Without any judicial order, the administration now seeks to stop me exercising a basic right. A right that belongs to everybody. The right to seek asylum.”However, this doesn’t seem to have dampened the spirits of Snowden too much, as he was defiant, not in his own right, but on behalf of the world’s people. As part of his statement, he suggested that whistleblowers like himself and Bradley Manning, were not the ones that the governments of the world were afraid of, but the people.”It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised – and it should be. I am unbowed in my convictions and impressed at the efforts taken by so many.”While several governments, particularly the US has expressed a strong desire to see Snowden returned to the US for questioning and potentially to face crimes of treason for sharing documents that revealed the PRISM data collection scheme employed by the NSA – which sees the organisation perusing data on millions of US and international citizens – the internet has rallied behind the man. A petition to see him pardoned of all crimes, reached well over a million signatures and his leaks have sparked the planning for protests across the United States on the 4th of July.Many others have called Snowden a hero, believing him likely to go down in history as a truly brave individual who gave up his livelihood and liberty in order to expose government corruption and privacy invasions.
KitGuru Says: Thanks to Snowden, we might be able to help avoid the 1984 future that so many have prophesied . Nobody realised we were almost there but now at least, there’s a chance to do something about it.