9 July 2013, 00:33

Uruguay mulls Snowden asylum

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Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden

Uruguay's first lady, Senator Lucia Topolansky, said Monday that her country would consider giving asylum to fugitive former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden. "This issue should be considered, once a request is filed," Topolansky said.

Uruguay has traditionally been a country that grants asylum. I think that every country is free to shelter whomever it wants. "Every country has its own rules and makes its own decisions, and no one is allowed to interfere with the sovereignty of other nations," she added.

Snowden, who is wanted by the United States for leaking details of a top-secret surveillance program that allegedly targeted millions of Americans, has submitted asylum requests to more than 20 countries. Most of those requests have been rejected, or the countries have said that the former National Security Agency contractor must be present on their soil to submit such an application. However, top officials in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia said over the weekend that their countries were willing to grant asylum to Snowden.

Venezuela possibly Snowden's last opportunity - Duma deputy

Venezuela's decision to offer asylum to former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden would be the best outcome and last chance for him, says Alexei Pushkov, the head of the Russian State Duma international affairs committee.

"Venezuela is waiting for Snowden's answer. This is possibly his last chance to get political asylum. Otherwise his only remaining option will be to marry Anna Chapman," he twitted on Sunday.

It was reported earlier that Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro offered asylum to Snowden.

Maduro's offer followed the announcement of Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega that Nicaragua could offer asylum to Snowden.

Wikileaks reported Friday evening that Snowden requested political asylum in six more countries. It did not specify the countries for fear of US interference.

Snowden fled to Hong Kong in May after which he exposed the secret operations of US special services.

Presently he is in the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport which he cannot leave because his American passport has been cancelled. He has requested several counties to offer him asylum. The United States insists on his extradition.

'By leaving US, Snowden puts into doubt motifs of his actions agains NSA' - Dr.Hans Georg Wieck

"By leaving the US territory, Mr. Snowden puts into doubt the motifs of his action revealing information about NSA activities. None of the papers giving proof of his allegations have been published until now", former Ambassador of Germany in Moscow and former President of BND Dr. Hans Georg Wieck told the Voice of Russia.

"Mr. Snowden revealed details of NSA-activities because he considers these activities as violation of US laws and of the citizens' rights.

If that is so, it would have been logical for him to present himself - after his action - to the courts and seek legal proceedings against himself as well as against state institutions for breach of law and citizens' fundamental rights.

A few years ago, a German prosecutor examining the alleged abduction of a boy by an adult threatened torture unless the suspect would inform about the actual place of captivity of the abducted boy. Torture or the threat of torture are forbidden under German law. Immediately after his threatening statement he reported his action to the courts and initiated legal proceedings against himself . By leaving the US territory, Mr. Snowden puts into doubt the motifs of his action revealing information about NSA activities.

None of the papers giving proof of his allegations have been published until now".

Bolivia has no request for Snowden's politicl asylum

Bolivia has received no formal request for political asylum from CIA ex-agent Edward Snowden, Bolivian Foreign Minister David Choquehuanca has announced.

He added that President Evo Morales is prepared to grant Snowden asylum for political reasons.

Nicaragua and Venezuela have spoken in the same vein.

Nicaragua media unveil Snowden’s asylum bid

Nicaraguan media have revealed a letter of US fugitive Edward Snowden where he asks Managua to grant him political asylum on the grounds that he may face an unfair trial in the US that can jail him for life or even put him to death for leaking intelligence documents.

A copy of the letter was published on the webpage of Radio Ya on Saturday night. The request dated 30 June stems from Moscow. It is written in English and addresses the representatives of the Nicaraguan Republic in the same words as did Snowden’s Polish letter that was earlier disclosed by Poland’s foreign office.

Bolivia's Morales offers asylum to US leaker Snowden

Bolivia's President Evo Morales on Saturday said he would grant asylum Edward Snowden, if the fugitive US leaker, who is holed up in an airport in Moscow, requests it.

Declaring that Bolivia has "no fear" of the United States and its European allies, Morales said that he would be willing "to give asylum to the American, if he asks."

Snowden remains stranded in a Moscow airport, where he has now been holed up for 14 days.

The offers, including on Friday from Venezuela and Nicaragua, raised hope he may finally be able to leave Russia, though it remains unclear how exactly Snowden could reach another nation from the transit zone of Russia's sprawling Sheremetyevo international airport.

Snowden had already been denied asylum by many of the 21 countries to which he had applied last week.

The WikiLeaks anti-secrecy website that has been supporting Snowden's cause said he had recently applied to six additional countries that it refused to name.

President Nicolas Maduro - whose Venezuelan government had long relished its role as an irritant to Washington under previous president Hugo Chavez - offered "humanitarian asylum to the young Snowden ... to protect this young man from the persecution launched by the most powerful empire in the world."

Nicaragua's Daniel Ortega also declared that Managua "would receive Snowden with pleasure and give him asylum here in Nicaragua."

This latest asylum offer for Snowden followed a major diplomatic kerfuffle this weekend when several European nations denied landing rights to Morales' presidential airplane, amid fears that he was sheltering Snowden onboard.

In what was seen as a further afront, the plane was forced to land in Vienna and searched, but no trace of Snowden was found on the aircraft.

Morales, who has accused Washington of pressuring European nations to deny him their airspace, warned he would "study, if necessary, closing the US embassy in Bolivia."

Voice of Russia, TASS, RIA, AFP, Interfax, dpa, Reuters

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