REPORT: Snowden Will Stay in Russia, Continue Attempts to Get to Latin America
The WSJ is reporting that Snowden will stay in Russia until he can travel to Latin America. "He wants to stay here until he can fly to Latin America," said Human Rights Watch's Deputy Director Tanya Lokshina, who took part. She also said that Snowden had asked officials to relay his request to Russian authorities and ask the US to stop interfering with his attempts to fly to Latin America.
From The Guardian:
Ellen Barry of the New York Times is in contact with Human Rights Watch's Tanya Lokshina, who is in the Snowden meeting.
She says that Snowden is saying he wants to remain in Russia and travel, and he wants international organisations to petition the US and EU not to interfere with that.
Referring to Putin's condition that he can only stay if he stops harming the US, Snowden apparently has said: "No actions I take or plan are meant to harm the US ... I want the US to succeed."
Two human rights officials plan to meet with Snowden today at the Sheremetyevo Airport. Snowden is thought to be stuck in the transit zone of the airport since fleeing Hong Kong.
Sergei Nikitin, head of Amnesty International's Russia office, told The Associated Press he will go to the meeting, but declined to give details. Tatiana Lokshina, deputy head of the Russian office of Human Rights Watch, was quoted by the news agency Interfax as saying she also would go.
Lokshina posted on Facebook she received a text purporting to be from Snowden.
Text of the letter:
"I have been extremely fortunate to enjoy and accept many offers of support and asylum from brave countries around the world. These nations have my gratitude.
"Unfortunately, in recent weeks we have witnessed an unlawful campaign by officials in the US government to deny my right to seek and enjoy this asylum under Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
"The scale of threatening behaviour is without precedent: never before in history have states conspired to force to the ground a sovereign president's plane to effect a search for a political refugee."
"This dangerous escalation represents a threat not just to the dignity of Latin America or my own personal security, but to the basic right shared by every living person to live free from persecution."
Reports indicate that Russia is also sending Transparency International, an organization that tracks corrupt industries and governments along with the UN refugee agency.
Genri Reznik, the head of the Moscow Bar Association, told Interfax that he thinks Snowden called the meeting to request asylum from Russia. Snowden previously made a request from Russia but Russian President Vladimir Putin required Snowden stopped leaking information. Snowden subsequently withdrew his bid.