Edward Snowden `marooned` in Russia, say Assange, Ecuador
Julian Assange and Ecuador`s President Rafael Correa have said that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is `marooned` in the Russian airport`s transit area.
Washington: WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and Ecuador`s President Rafael Correa have said that NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden is `marooned` in the Russian airport`s transit area due to his passport being revoked by the US authorities and Russia being indecisive about his fate.
According to the Washington Post, Snowden appears to be stranded on the airport because of the legal limbo Russian and Ecuadorean authorities have been trapped into.
Russia has claimed that since Snowden is practically not in the Russian territory as he is in the `transit area` and his passport has been revoked, it cannot authorize his exit from the airport due to dire consequences as threatened by US.
Meanwhile, Ecuador is keen to grant Snowden asylum only if he enters their region which is a thin possibility as an attempt in which he was issued `invalid and unauthorized travel documents` were cancelled by Ecuador.
Assange criticized US decision of revoking Snowden`s passport and said that taking passport from a young man in a difficult situation like that is a disgrace adding that this decision has left Snowden for the moment `marooned` in Russia.
Snowden has been charged with violation of the US` Espionage Act because he was found to have leaked US led surveillance programme`s highly classified data about `citizen snooping`.
In a bid to escape US extradition, Snowden had been in hiding in Hong Kong for a couple of weeks and later flew to Moscow in order to claim asylum in Ecuador.
Meanwhile, Venezuela`s President Nicolas Maduro has praised Snowden for exposing the US `snooping programme` and has said that the nation is more than willing to grant Snowden asylum only if a formal request is made adding that asylum is an international humanitarian right to protect those who are being pursued for noble causes.
A spokeswoman for the Justice Department, Nanda Chitre said that US government is prepared to issue individuals wanted on felony charges a one-entry travel document to return home, which means that if once indicted, Snowden will be prosecuted, the report added.