Following on from revelations that the US’ NSA had been tapping the phone of German chancellor, Angela Merkel for over a decade, a growing number of politicians and influential people in Germany have been calling for the government to offer asylum to NSA document leaker Edward Snowden.
Published in a recent issue of Der Spiegel, several public figures stated their case for Snowden’s asylum, breaking down which countries would and wouldn’t be good places for him to be offered asylum in – presuming that he doesn’t continue to take advantage of his Russian safe-haven. The biggest proponent of offering him a place to stay in Germany, was Heiner Geissler, former general secretary of the Christian Democrats, which Angela Merkel currently heads, who said that “Snowden has done the Western world a great service. It is now up to us to help him.”
Others within his party disagree, suggesting that there was no real reason he needed to be stationed in Germany. Others still have suggested Norway as the best place for the former NSA contractor. Nobody wants to see him in Britain though, with a few commenters calling it a “US colony.”
As The Guardian points out however, the problem with Snowden moving anywhere, is that by leaving Moscow he would lose his asylum in Russia and would then have to re-apply for it in Germany, where it might not necessarily be granted. Snowden has said he’d be willing to meet any German officials in Russia however. He also published the following – somewhat generic – statement via the paper, stating:
“At the beginning, some of the governments who were exposed by the revelations of mass surveillance initiated an unprecedented smear campaign. They intimidated journalists and criminalised the publication of the truth. Today we know that this was a mistake, and that such behaviour is not in the public interest. The debate they tried to stop is now taking place all over the world.”
The official German stance at this point seems to be one of quiet negotiation, with reports suggesting that the spied upon Merkel is working out Germany’s privacy concerns with the US on a diplomatic level.
KitGuru Says: While it’s hard to hear Britain described as just an arm of US justice, it’s a little hard to argue that Snowden would be safe if he came here. The US would be able to put a lot of pressure on Cameron to ship him over and who here would trust him not to?