National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden announced today that he is formally requesting asylum in Russia after living in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport since June 23.
The United States annulled his passport, so the 30-year-old leaker has been stranded inside the airport.
Snowden announced his decision after meeting with human rights activists, Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, but said he still hopes to someday gain asylum in Latin America, noted The Washington Post.
“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,” Snowden said. “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.”
Snowden also slammed the "secret court rulings” by the FISA courts that justified the NSA spying programs on the American people.
“The immoral cannot be made moral through the use of secret law," Snowden said. “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 U.S. secrets. I did not partner with any foreign government to guarantee my safety."
He added: "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 justice. 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.”
Source: The Washington Post