Snowden Seeks Asylum in Russia: Report

At least for now, he says in meeting with Human Rights Watch

By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 12, 2013 4:14 AM CDT | Updated Jul 12, 2013 9:44 AM CDT

(Newser) – Edward Snowden will seek political asylum in Russia, at least temporarily, he told human rights groups in a meeting today at Sheremetyevo International Airport. The news comes via New York Times reporter Ellen Barry, who cites a Human Rights Watch researcher at the meeting. Snowden say he's fine with Vladimir Putin's condition that he stop activities intended to harm the US because, in his alleged words, "No actions I take or plan are meant to harm the US. … I want the US to succeed."

Snowden's ultimate plan, however, is to go to Latin America. "I am only in a position to accept Russia's offer because of my inability to travel," he reportedly said. Snowden called the meeting with the human rights groups in the apparent hope that they can help petition the US and EU not to interfere with his movements. A WikiLeaks activist is also present, the Times reports, and WikiLeaks tweeted that it would release Snowden's statement from the meeting later tonight.

Edward Snowden meets with Tanya Lokshina of Human Rights Watch and British WikiLeaks activist Sarah Harrison. The photo is believed to be the first of him since his arrival in Russia.
Edward Snowden meets with Tanya Lokshina of Human Rights Watch and British WikiLeaks activist Sarah Harrison. The photo is believed to be the first of him since his arrival in Russia.   (Human Rights Watch)
Passengers wait for their flights in Sheremetyevo Airport outside Moscow, Russia, on Tuesday, July 9, 2013.
Passengers wait for their flights in Sheremetyevo Airport outside Moscow, Russia, on Tuesday, July 9, 2013.   (AP Photo/Ivan Sekretarev)
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