NSA whistleblower Snowden leaves Hong Kong, headed for asylum with aid from Wikileaks

| June 23, 2013
Snowden supporters in Hong Kong. (Photo: RT.com)

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NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden has left Hong Kong, arriving in Moscow Sunday on his way to asylum. His final destination remains unconfirmed, but there are reports it will be Venezuela or Ecuador.

His departure from Hong Kong came as authorities there rebuffed U.S. demands for his extradition.

Meanwhile the organization Wikileaks has issued a statement explaining their assistance in securing safe passage to asylum for Snowden. Wikileaks, whose founder Julian Assange remains in the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, stated:

Mr Edward Snowden, the American whistleblower who exposed evidence of a global surveillance regime conducted by US and UK intelligence agencies, has left Hong Kong legally. He is bound for a democratic nation via a safe route for the purposes of asylum, and is being escorted by diplomats and legal advisors from WikiLeaks.

Mr Snowden requested that WikiLeaks use its legal expertise and experience to secure his safety. Once Mr Snowden arrives at his final destination his request will be formally processed.

Former Spanish Judge Mr Baltasar Garzon, legal director of Wikileaks and lawyer for Julian Assange has made the following statement:

"The WikiLeaks legal team and I are interested in preserving Mr Snowden’s rights and protecting him as a person. What is being done to Mr Snowden and to Mr Julian Assange -- for making or facilitating disclosures in the public interest -- is an assault against the people."

Snowden's moves come amidst major new revelations about the extent of secret surveillance by the U.S. and UK governments.

On Friday the Guardian reporteded that the British spy agency had for years been secretly tapping into international fibre-optic cables to access information on personal communications. The Guardian exposé also made reference to "the Five Eyes electronic eavesdropping alliance, comprising the U.S., UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand."

 

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