Snowden Statement: I Formally Accept ALL Offers of Support or Asylum


Edward Snowden Statement: I Formally Accept ALL Offers of Support or Asylum:

Edward Snowden gives a news conference at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow
with human rights activists Edward Snowden (centre) gives a news conference
at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow with human rights activists. Photograph:

Stephen: As posted yesterday, Edward Snowden met with a range of human
rights leaders at Moscow airport. He also made his first ‘public’ appearance
and statement.
‘It Was the Right Thing to Do and I Have no Regrets’
Edward Snowden along with Sarah Harrison of WikiLeaks (left) at a press conference in SheremetyevoEdward Snowden along with Sarah Harrison of WikiLeaks (left) at a press conference in Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow.
Photograph: Tanya Lokshina/Human Rights Watch

Statement by Edward Snowden to human rights groups at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport,
posted by WikiLeaks:

From – July 13, 2013

Statement by Edward Snowden to human rights groups at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo
airport, posted by WikiLeaks:

Friday July 12, 15:00 UTC

Hello. My name is Ed Snowden. A little over one month ago, I had family, a
home in paradise, and I lived in great comfort. I also had the capability
without any warrant to search for, seize, and read your communications.
Anyone’s communications at any time. That is the power to change people’s

It is also a serious violation of the law. The 4th and 5th Amendments to the
Constitution of my country, Article 12 of the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights, and numerous statutes and treaties forbid such systems of massive,
pervasive surveillance.

While the US Constitution marks these programs as illegal, my government
argues that secret court rulings, which the world is not permitted to see,
somehow legitimize an illegal affair. These rulings simply corrupt the most
basic notion of justice – that it must be seen to be done. The immoral
cannot be made moral through the use of secret law.

I believe in the principle declared at Nuremberg in 1945: “Individuals have
international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience.
Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to
prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring.”

Accordingly, I did what I believed right and began a campaign to correct
this wrongdoing. I did not seek to enrich myself. I did not seek to sell US
secrets. I did not partner with any foreign government to guarantee my
safety. Instead, I took what I knew to the public, so what affects all of us
can be discussed by all of us in the light of day, and I asked the world for

That moral decision to tell the public about spying that affects all of us
has been costly, but it was the right thing to do and I have no regrets.

Since that time, the government and intelligence services of the United
States of America have attempted to make an example of me, a warning to all
others who might speak out as I have. I have been made stateless and hounded
for my act of political expression.

The United States Government has placed me on no-fly lists. It demanded Hong
Kong return me outside of the framework of its laws, in direct violation of
the principle of non-refoulement – the Law of Nations. It has threatened
with sanctions countries who would stand up for my human rights and the UN
asylum system. It has even taken the unprecedented step of ordering military
allies to ground a Latin American president’s plane in search for a
political refugee. These dangerous escalations represent a threat not just
to the dignity of Latin America, but to the basic rights shared by every
person, every nation, to live free from persecution, and to seek and enjoy

Yet even in the face of this historically disproportionate aggression,
countries around the world have offered support and asylum. These nations,
including Russia, Venezuela, Bolivia, Nicaragua, and Ecuador have my
gratitude and respect for being the first to stand against human rights
violations carried out by the powerful rather than the powerless. By
refusing to compromise their principles in the face of intimidation, they
have earned the respect of the world. It is my intention to travel to each
of these countries to extend my personal thanks to their people and leaders.

I announce today my formal acceptance of all offers of support or asylum I
have been extended and all others that may be offered in the future.

With, for example, the grant of asylum provided by Venezuela’s President
Maduro, my asylee status is now formal, and no state has a basis by which to
limit or interfere with my right to enjoy that asylum. As we have seen,
however, some governments in Western European and North American states have
demonstrated a willingness to act outside the law, and this behavior
persists today. This unlawful threat makes it impossible for me to travel to
Latin America and enjoy the asylum granted there in accordance with our
shared rights.

This willingness by powerful states to act extra-legally represents a threat
to all of us, and must not be allowed to succeed. Accordingly, I ask for
your assistance in requesting guarantees of safe passage from the relevant
nations in securing my travel to Latin America, as well as requesting asylum
in Russia until such time as these states accede to law and my legal travel
is permitted. I will be submitting my request to Russia today, and hope it
will be accepted favorably.

If you have any questions, I will answer what I can.

Thank you.

Posted by Stephen Cook on July 13, 2013 / Comments Off
Category: Truth Tags: Asylum, Edward Snowden, NSA


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