NSA Whistleblower Snowden Applies for Asylum in Brazil
MOSCOW, June 2 (RIA Novosti) – Fugitive NSA leaker Edward Snowden, currently living in Russia, has applied for asylum in Brazil, Agence France-Presse reported Monday citing Brazilian media.
'I would love to live in Brazil,' the whistleblower said in an interview with Brazil's TV channel Globo.
Snowden added that he had officially applied for asylum in several countries including Brazil.
Brazil's Foreign Ministry claimed that it had not received a request from the former NSA contractor, according to AFP.
Earlier some media reported that Snowden wrote an open letter to Brazil authorities offering assistance in the investigation of US surveillance in exchange for political asylum. Brazil President Dilma Rousseff said that her government would not comment on the letter. Brazilians, in turn, called for granting Snowden asylum. The campaign for granting former CIA contractor asylum has collected over 1 million signatures.
Snowden earlier said that he would like to return to the US but was going to apply for a renewal of his asylum status in Russia.
Last June Snowden leaked information about the extensive electronic surveillance programs conducted by the US government around the globe, including eavesdropping on American citizens and foreign leaders. The revelations have sparked domestic controversy and strained relations between the US and its allies.
The US authorities have rejected claims that Snowden is a whistleblower, insisting that he committed crimes and should stand trial at home. They charged Snowden with espionage and revoked his passport.
The 30-year-old has been residing in Russia for a little under a year, after local authorities granted him temporary asylum, which he sought in 21 countries. Snowden's temporary asylum in Russia expires in August.
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