Quoted: Edward Snowden on EU’s call to protect him from U.S. extradition

“This is not a blow against the US Government, but an open hand extended by friends. It is a chance to move forward.”

Edward Snowden, the former U.S. government tech contractor who leaked documents that revealed mass spying by the U.S., U.K. and other governments, tweets a reaction to a European Parliament’s Thursday vote to encourage member states to drop charges against him.

From a statement by Parliament:

By 285 votes to 281, MEPs decided to call on EU member states to “drop any criminal charges against Edward Snowden, grant him protection and consequently prevent extradition or rendition by third parties, in recognition of his status as whistle-blower and international human rights defender”.

Of course, many don’t consider Snowden a whistleblower — they see him as a traitor.

“Our position has not changed,” National Security Council spokesman Ned Price told the Daily Dot. “Mr. Snowden is accused of leaking classified information and faces felony charges here in the United States. As such, he should be returned to the U.S. as soon as possible, where he will be accorded full due process.”

“It’s our belief that the man put U.S. national security in great danger and he needs to be held to account for that,” State Department spokesman John Kirby said, according to the Hill.

Snowden, who has been living in asylum in Russia since the 2013 revelations, would like to go back to the United States if he’s guaranteed a fair trial, his lawyer said earlier this year.

Snowden also called the EU Parliament’s non-binding vote Thursday a “game-changer,” something other reports echoed. It’s obviously a potential complication for U.S.-European relations — what the Hill called a “symbolic blow” to the Obama administration’s efforts to get Snowden back to the U.S. to face charges. From the Daily Dot: “The United States has extradition treaties with all European nations, and a pronouncement not to honor such an agreement would be nearly unprecedented.”

 

Photo of Edward Snowden from AFP/Getty Images

 

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  • ellafino

    It’s non-binding which means most countries will not go along because they have extradition treaties that only exempt death penalty cases.

  • carol argo

    Awesome eu, calling Edward Snowden HUMAN RIGHT DEFENDER is better then any could have expected and is right on the money . He did nothing less then protect democracy from it self . It took a lot of everything for this to come to light. But the world population is glad , he defended our right that were being so harshly abused.+1 to eu parlement and all other thinking alike

 
 
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