US trying to block my asylum right: Snowden


MOSCOW: US officials have been trying to prevent me from taking up offers of asylum, US whistleblower Edward Snowden wrote in a letter sent to a Human Rights Watch official.

“I have been extremely fortunate to enjoy and accept many offers of support and asylum from brave countries around the world. These nations have my gratitude …” Snowden said in the letter.

“Unfortunately, in recent weeks we have witnessed an unlawful campaign by officials in the US government to deny my right to seek and enjoy this asylum under Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” the letter said.

“The scale of threatening behavior is without precedent: never before in history have states conspired to force to the ground a sovereign President’s plane to affect a search for a political refugee.”

The US whistleblower was referring to last week’s incident in which some European countries including France, Italy and Spain denied their airspace to the airplane carrying Bolivian President Evo Morales because US officials suspected that Snowden was on board the plane. The plane was later forced to land in Vienna and according to Austrian officials was fully searched before being allowed to head for Bolivia.

Snowden who is accused of espionage charges by the US said that such a trend “represents a threat not just to the dignity of Latin America or my own personal security, but to the basic right shared by every living person to live free from persecution.”

Snowden is to meet with representative of human rights groups at 17:00 Moscow time (1300 GMT) to discuss the “next steps forward in my situation”.

Asad Haroon
A netpreneur, blogger and above all; A Human :) Asad tweets from @aghaasadharoon and can also be approached on Google+

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