Snowden in 'Safe House'

There's no record of him leaving Hong Kong

By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 12, 2013 7:43 AM CDT

(Newser) – As of Monday, NSA leaker Edward Snowden had all but disappeared, having checked out of the $330-a-night Mira Hotel in Hong Kong. The Guardian reports what seems to be the most definitive update on his whereabouts, and it's pretty vague: "It is thought he is now in a safe house," writes Ewen MacAskill. No word on where that "safe house" is located, but Bloomberg picks up a report from a Hong Kong paper whose sources say the immigration department has no record of him leaving the city.

A further sign he's still in the city: Another Hong Kong-based paper today reported that Snowden is attempting to solicit help from human rights organizations and lawyers in the city, though the Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor says it has had no contact with him. Perhaps why he's seeking legal help: Should the DOJ charge Snowden as expected, Time explains he could then make an asylum claim (absent such charges, he can't file such a claim until his 90-day tourist visa expires in mid-August). But things could get much more complicated from there thanks to the "one country, two systems" reality of China-Hong Kong. Time explains how Beijing could get involved in the legal maneuvering.

A woman uses her smartphone at the waterfront in Hong Kong Tuesday, June 11, 2013.
A woman uses her smartphone at the waterfront in Hong Kong Tuesday, June 11, 2013.   (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)
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