So Long, Snowden: Countries Reject Bid for Asylum Amid Statement
Things are starting to look pretty bad for ex-government contractor and NSA-secrets-leaker, Edward Snowden.
In the last two days, Snowden has expanded his request for asylum to 21 countries...and been rejected by most of them.
India is the latest to have refused—and the External Affairs Minister, Salman Khurshid, did via Twitter, too. (Nothing like a public rebuff.)
But here's a list of the (many) other countries that aren't interested in making Snowden their problem.
- Finland: According to a spokeswoman from their foreign ministry, Finnish law needs Snowden to be in the country when he asks for asylum.
- Ireland: Same as above.
- Poland: Same again.
- Spain: The foreign minister told the press that "for it to be legally admissible," the request has to be made by a person who is in Spain.
- Norway : The deputy justice secretary Paal Loenseth has said that "applying for asylum should be done on Norwegian soil. According to normal procedures … his demand will be denied."
- Austria: The Austrian interior minister, Johanna Mikl-Leitner, has said that Snowden would have to request asylum while actually on Austrian soil. But she did say that, since "there is no international arrest warrant," he wouldn't be deported at least.
- Brazil: A Foreign Ministry spokesman confirmed on Tuesday that it would not be granting asylum, adding that it will leave the request unanswered.
- Ecuador: This one probably stings a little bit—Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa has said that asylum can't be granted unless Snowden is on Ecuadorian soil. But he also decided that the Ecuadorian Embassy-issued travel document Snowden had obtained wasn't valid.
Snowden's still waiting to hear from Bolivia, China, Cuba, Germany, Iceland, Italy, The Netherlands, Nicaragua, and Switzerland.
In the meantime, Snowden's dropped his request for political asylum in Russia, after President Putin said that that "if he wants to remain here there is one condition—he should stop his work aimed at inflicting damage on our American partners."
According to a statement made by Putin's spokesman on Tuesday, "[Snowden] abandoned his intention and his request to receive the chance of staying in Russia."
Apparently, though, Venezuela's looking like it might be a good option.
President Maduro defended the fugitive on Monday, saying that Snowden "did not kill anyone and he did not plant a bomb.” Maduro added that Snowden “only said a big truth to prevent wars.”
But the Venezuelan President said on Tuesday that he's not actually received an application for asylum from Snowden. What gives?
On Monday night, perhaps in an effort to rally support, Snowden released a statement reasserting his convictions. It concluded:
I"n the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake. We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. 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."