Ed Snowden’s bid for Asylum – Live Updates
The mainstream media is buzzing with reports that Edward Snowden has left Hong Kong for an undisclosed destination. We know he is heading to Moscow and then probably on to Iceland via Norway. The Pirate Times is in contact with Pirates in Norway and Iceland and will keep you informed as much as we can.
This page will be updated with more news as it comes in. all times are in CEST Central European Summer Time
02 July 2013 07:45 CNN Reports that Edward Snowden has applied for asylum in 19 further countries and the Pirate Party of North Rhine Westfalia has asked for him to be awarded Germany’s highest medal.
01 July 2013 18:55 The New York Times reports that Edward Snowden has applied for asylum in Russia.
Thursday 27 June 20:13 16:25 Ecuador has issued a safe pass to Edward Snowden that will allow him to travel to that country for the purpose of seeking asylum. This is according to Univision (in Spanish) and the pass can be seen here (English and Spanish).
17:36 RT live Russian President Putin says that Edward Snowden is still in the transit lounge and a free man.
11:30 Russian Foreign Minister states that Edward Snowden has not crossed into Russian Territory acccording to RT live. So that could mean he either never left the transit area at the airport or never arrived at the airport at all.
Tuesday 25 June 20:15 No confirmed reports as to Edward Snowden’s whereabouts but Pirates have been putting up smoke screens. Some online threads have been encouraging Pirates and other supporters to go to their local international airport with flags and banners welcoming Edward Snowden.
22:20 The Nordic Page Norway edition says that PPNO claimed Snowden passed through Norway last night as planned (see below). Was Ecuador a double bluff or still his ultimate goal? Wikileaks reports he is still safe and that is what counts.
19:30 RT live reports that Ecuador has granted travel documents to Edward Snowden
14:45 Ecuadorian Ambassador in Vietnam states confirms that Edward Snowden has requested asylum and mentions that the USA often refused to extradite criminals including bankers.
13:10 24 June 2013 A plane bound for Cuba with a booking for Snowden and another person has left Moscow but with Ed Snowden apparently not on board according to Russian Television English Service
22:30 it would seem that the booking to Iceland was a ruse but we can only be sure once he has arrived in the land of choice.
18:55 CNN reports Ecuador says it has received an asylum request from Edward Snowden
Now reversing the order of the updates – latest now at the top
14:20 PPNO reports that a plane carrying Edward Snowden is expected to land in Gardermoen airport Oslo, Norway at 19:25 . Pirates will be at the airport to express their support as will the Norwegian national press. The plane will depart the airport at 21:55 .
15:50: Journalists are tweeting that Snowden was met by a Venezuelan diplomat at Moscow airport. This would mean that rumours that he is headed to Cuba and then Venezuela are correct. The fact that many differing stories are being circulated is understandable. We will not know the full truth until he is in safety.
15:55 Others are reporting the diplomats meeting Ed Snowden are from Ecuador, among them Anonymous @Youranonnews- which makes it more believable. Misinformation abounds.
17:15 here is the text of a long tweet sent by Birgitta Jónsdóttir a Captain of the Icelandic Pirate Party
Is it an option for Edward Snowden to seek shelter in Iceland?
Is it an option for Edward Snowden to seek shelter in Iceland?
When it was brought to my attention that Snowden was looking to Iceland for political asylum, I offered to help figure out the legal options for such a request.
These are my findings: Snowden should not come to Iceland unless he will request and be granted citizenship by the Icelandic Parliament. Citizenship is the only legal protection that will shelter him from any demands of extradition to the USA. The ideal situation would be for Snowden to be granted a Icelandic passport as was the case with Bobby Fischer.
Seeking political asylum is a process that can take long time, and there are no guarantees granted against extradition while the process is ongoing. However since Snowden faces possible death sentence his case is stronger, for it is illegal to extradite a person who faces death sentence from Iceland. It is important to note that Iceland has a terrible track record when it comes to granting political asylum to people seeking shelter, as it is hardly never granted and thus a too dangerous path to be recommended for Snowden.
The new Interior minister, Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir, has been very stern in her statements announcing that Snowden will not get any sort of special treatment for the Minister fears that if he will be granted asylum, Iceland might have to show humanitarianism in action by transforming its poor treatment towards asylum seekers who seek shelter in Iceland.
I was hoping that the new Prime Minster, Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson, would take the same leadership in this case as a former PM did in the case of Bobby Fischer, for it was a political decision to grant the Chess Master Icelandic citizenship and Icelandic passport while Fischer was in prison in Japan waiting to be extradited to the USA for playing chess in the wrong country. It is still not too late to show such leadership.
It is important to note that there has not been any formal requests for asylum from Snowden to the Icelandic government and thus impossible for them to respond with affirmative answer until such a request has been received.
I’ve heard as I am writing this that there are other countries that have offered to shelter this brave whistleblower. Snowden has done service to all of humanity by bringing to the public domain information that truly belongs there. It is ironic that Snowden is to be charged for spying by blowing the whistle on the fact that NSA is spying on everyone with much deeper probing into our personal lives then even Stasi could do. I am sorry that Iceland might not be an option. It would have made me exceptionally proud if it was.
The war on whistleblowers needs to stop. I see Manning, Brown, Hammond and so many others as political prisoners of the information revolution. If extradited to the USA, on the charges of espionage, Snowden’s fate might be death sentence. By not sheltering him those who reject to help him might have blood on their hands.
With Rebellious Joy
Poetician & a member of the Icelandic Parliament for the Pirate Party,
Chairperson of the International Modern Media Institution (IMMI)
Featured image: CC BY See-ming Lee 李思明 SML