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Snowden seeks help from Russia-based rights activists

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2013-07-12

Fugitive NSA leaker Edward Snowden has requested meetings with rights lawyers and NGOs, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, at the Moscow airport where he has been holed up for three weeks, activist groups said Friday.

Fugitive US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has requested a meeting with leading Russian rights activists and lawyers at the airport in Moscow where he has been stuck in transit for the last three weeks, the campaigners invited said Friday.

Snowden asks Russia for temporary asylum

Former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden has requested temporary asylum in Russia, WikiLeaks tweeted on Friday.

In the same tweet, WikiLeaks also said that Snowden still plans to “eventually” travel to Latin America.

The Interfax news agency reported those invited included representatives of Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and Transparency International as well as several prominent lawyers working in Moscow.

Prominent Moscow lawyer Genrikh Padva confirmed to AFP that he had received an invitation for a meeting at the airport Friday afternoon.

"We received such a letter from him and the Moscow airport telephoned as well," he said, adding he did not believe he would have time to attend.

Sergei Nikitin of the Moscow branch of Amnesty International said the group received an email inviting his group and said "we are planning to go." Elena Panfilova of Transparency International said the "somewhat unexpected" invitation was being discussed.

Panfilova said the email had come from an apparently secure email address in Snowden's name.

A source at Sheremetyevo airport where the fugitive has spent the last three weeks told Interfax earlier that the former intelligence employee wanted to make an announcement to the activists and lawyers.

"He wants to express his opinion about the manic campaign of the persecution against him unleashed by the United States which means that passengers on flights to Latin America are in danger," the source told the agency.

The source did not give further details but leftist Latin American states such as Venezuela and Ecuador are seen as the most likely destination for Snowden to seek asylum.

(AFP)

Date created : 2013-07-12

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