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Newstalk

08.04 2 Jul 2013


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The Taoiseach has said it is impossible for Ireland to offer asylum to the whistleblower Edward Snowden for the time-being.

Enda Kenny this afternoon confirmed that Snowden had written seeking asylum to the Irish embassy in Moscow where he has been staying in an airport.

The Taoiseach told the Dáil that Irish law only allowed asylum applications if the applicant was already present on Irish soil.

Wikileaks statement

Julian Assange's whistleblowing organisation Wikileaks has revealed that Snowden's legal assistant has submitted appeals to country representatives in Russia.

They issued the following statement:

The requests were made to a number of countries including the Republic of Austria, the Plurinational State of Bolivia, the Federative Republic of Brazil, the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Cuba, the Republic of Finland, the French Republic, the Federal Republic of Germany, the Republic of India, the Italian Republic, the Republic of Ireland, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Republic of Nicaragua, the Kingdom of Norway, the Republic of Poland, the Russian Federation, the Kingdom of Spain, the Swiss Confederation and the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela.

The requests join or update others previously made including to the Republic of Ecuador and the Republic of Iceland." 

Above, Wikileaks has published a statment about Snowden's appeals for asymlum on their website

The pleas follow two previously made to Ecuador and Iceland. 

Edward Snowden broke his silence last night, accusing the US President ofdenying him a right to asylum and of putting political pressure on countries from which he has requested refuge.

In a statement published on the WikiLeaks website, the former National Security Agency (NSA) worker said Mr Obama was practising the "old, bad tools of political aggression".

The ex-former CIA analyst, who leaked details of secret surveillance operations in the UK and US, fled to Hong Kong and then to Russia after White House officials requested his extradition.

Snowden statement

Snowden said the White House was "using citizenship as a weapon" and had denied him the right to seek asylum by revoking his passport, "leaving me a stateless person" and stopping him from "exercising a basic human right ... the right to seek asylum".

He added: "In the end the Obama administration is not afraid of whistleblowers like me, Bradley Manning or Thomas Drake.

"We are stateless, imprisoned, or powerless. No, the Obama administration is afraid of you. It is afraid of an informed, angry public demanding the constitutional government it was promised - and it should be."

He accuses the US government of a "grave violation" of human rights and of "unwarranted spying against innocent people".


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