Highly sought after in the US since being charged under espionage laws, Snowden has hastily increased his efforts to find a country that is willing to take him in. He has reportedly applied for asylum in a total of 21 countries, and so far, his efforts have been less than fruitful.
Image Credit: Csmonitor.com
Edward Snowden, the former NSA employee who famously leaked information on government surveillance and spying practices, is now desperately searching for a safe haven. While his exact location was unknown for some time, it was recently revealed that he was in fact in Russia, and that he has actually been stuck in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport for more than a week (an experience which is likely much less quirky and endearing than Tom Hanks’ 2004 film “The Terminal” would have you believe).
South America’s largest sovereign state became the latest to turn Snowden away, though they will not formally reject him, they will instead simply leave his request unanswered. Because hey, it’s Brazil, they’ve got better stuff to do. However, one of their neighbors to the north, Venezuela, has said they’re open to possibly taking Snowden in, but has yet to receive an official request from the whistleblower. You know the old saying, Edward: People charged with jeopardizing national security can’t be choosers.
The Swiss are a peace-loving people; they have to at least consider helping this young man, right? Wrong. Switzerland seemed like a solid possibility since they are willing to consider asylum requests from people outside their borders, but they must meet certain criteria. Specifically, they only make exceptions to applicants whose lives are in danger, a requirement that they have decided Edward Snowden doesn’t meet. So sorry Eddie, maybe give the Swiss a call if the US starts hunting you down Jason Bourne-style.
Looks like Edward Snowden won’t be enjoying a fresh pint of Guinness any time soon, either. Ireland officially rebuked Snowden’s asylum request, saying that application could only be accepted from a person who had arrived in, or was currently within the state. His current location is unquestionably a primary hurdle, and since no one seems to be willing to help him travel, it might be time for Snowden to pack all of his possessions in a bindle stick and get to walking.
Snowden hoped to find refuge in some of the nearby European nations, and Finland was one of the first to turn him away. The country said that it could not accept his application because Finnish law requires him to be in the country in order to be considered. According to the Finnish foreign ministry, Snowden had sent his request by fax to Finland’s embassy in Moscow. Really, Ed? A fax? Maybe show a little savvy by scanning and sending it as an email attachment if you expect to be taken seriously.
Since he is already crashing in their airport like a modern-day railcar hobo, Russia seemed to be the most obvious choice for Snowden. And while Russia has refused to hand him over, they also took an official stance that they would only allow him to remain if he stopped “his work aimed at bringing harm to the US.” Upon hearing this, Snowden withdrew his request and continued his search, which is too bad, since he might’ve gotten to go shirtless bear hunting with Vladimir Putin.