Ireland among nations where Snowden is seeking asylum
Department of Justice says such applications can only be made by persons within the State
A later post, which appeared early today on the WikiLeaks website, said Sarah Harrison, the group’s legal adviser in the Snowden matter, had “submitted by hand a number of requests for asylum and asylum assistance on behalf” of Mr Snowden to 19 countries. They were listed as Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Cuba, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and Venezuela.
The Norwegian foreign ministry this morning confirmed the request had been received.
The post said the requests, which “outline the risks of persecution Mr. Snowden faces in the United States, ” were delivered to an official at the Russian Consulate at the Moscow airport where, according to Russian officials, Mr Snowden is ensconced in an international transit lounge, trying to determine his next step, and has technically not entered Russian territory. It said the consulate had started delivering the requests to the relevant embassies in Moscow.
The statement attributed to Mr Snowden appeared to be the first direct word from him about his predicament since his flight to Moscow from Hong Kong on June 23rd despite a US request to the Hong Kong authorities to arrest Mr Snowden, who is accused of violating espionage laws.
His disclosures have embarrassed the Obama administration and caused tensions with other countries, including China, Russia and members of the European Union.
Mr Snowden, 30, has still not been publicly seen in Russia, and there was no way to immediately verify that he had made the statement attributed to him.
The statement came as Snowden’s case appeared to be causing tensions between the government of Ecuador and Julian Assange, the WikiLeaks founder. Mr Assange has been camped out in Ecuador’s Embassy in London for more than a year, given asylum there to avoid extradition to Sweden, where he is wanted for questioning on allegations that he sexually assaulted two women.
“The conduct of Assange has bothered me a little and this morning I spoke with the foreign minister to tell him not to speak about our country’s situations,” Mr Correa said yesterday.
He was apparently displeased by comments Mr Assange made Sunday on the ABC program “This Week” regarding Mr Biden’s telephone call. Mr Assange characterized that call as an effort to pressure Mr Correa. “What does he know about the call from Joe Biden?” Mr Correa was quoted as saying.
New York Times