Snowden lashes out at Obama, accuses him of `deception`

Snowden on Monday issued a statement slamming Barack Obama for blocking his asylum requests to other countries.

Updated: Jul 02, 2013, 16:08 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

Moscow: Stuck in a legal limbo and sending political asylum to countries around the globe, US whistleblower Edward Snowden called himself “a stateless person” and slammed Obama administration for pressurising nations against providing asylum to him…

Snowden on Monday issued a statement via WikiLeaks slamming Barack Obama for blocking his asylum requests to other countries.

Accusing Obama of "using citizenship as a weapon", Snowden said, "Although I am convicted of nothing, (the United States) has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person".

"These are the old, bad tools of political aggression," Snowden said in the statement issued through WikiLeaks, which has been assisting his effort to find a haven from US espionage charges. "Their purpose is to frighten, not me, but those who would come after me."

Snowden scathed Obama administration for denying him the "basic right to seek asylum".

"This kind of deception from a world leader is not justice, and neither is the extralegal penalty of exile."

"The President ordered his vice president to pressure the leaders of nations from which I have requested protection to deny my asylum petitions," Snowden was quoted by Wikileaks as saying.

The Obama Administration has warned countries not to give asylum to Snowden arguing that he is wanted in the US on charges of espionage and leaking classified information.

The US yesterday said Snowden, whose passport has been revoked, would be given a fair trial and enjoys all the rights of an American citizen.

"We`re prepared to issue one-entry travel documents. He`s still a US citizen. He still enjoys the rights of his US citizenship, which include the right to a free and fair trial for the crimes he`s been accused of," State Department spokesperson Patrick Ventrell told reporters.

"He (Snowden) enjoys the rights and responsibilities of any US citizen, including the right to a free and fair trial under our Constitution," he said, adding that "He has a country to return to, which is the United States of America."

With Agency Inputs