UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Former U.S. intelligence officer Edward Snowden said he had requested asylum in France back in 2013, and would like current French leader Emmanuel Macron to grant him.
“I applied for asylum in France under President Francois Hollande in 2013. Of course, I would very much like for Mr. Macron to grant me the right to asylum,” Snowden said in an interview with France Inter.
A former US intelligence official noted that the “saddest” thing in this story is that the only place where he can speak freely is not Europe, but Russia.
Snowden emphasized that “whistleblower protection is not a hostile act.”
“Accepting someone like me is not an attack on the United States,” he said.
In June 2013, Snowden handed over to the Washington Post and Guardian newspapers a series of classified materials about Internet and US intelligence programs. He flew to Hong Kong, and from there to Moscow, where he spent some time in the transit zone of Sheremetyevo Airport.
Russia granted Snowden temporary shelter for a year, provided that he ceases his activities against the United States. In August 2014, Snowden received a three-year residence permit, which allows him to travel not only in Russia, but also abroad.
In January 2017, the Snowdenu residence permit was extended until 2020. The day before, he said in an interview with Guardian that he married his beloved Lindsay Mills in Russia two years ago.
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