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Old 15th July 2013, 07:17   #1
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Default Edward Snowden breaks silence

Whistleblower Edward Snowden has broken his silence at a last minute meeting in Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport - finally announcing he plans to stay in Russia, for now.

In an email, Snowden said that he had accepted offers of asylum from "brave countries around the world", but he is currently unable to transit safely from Moscow to Latin America.

The ex-NSA contractor invited human rights activists and lawyers to meet him at "G9" in Sheremetyevo. Human Rights Watch's Tanya Lokshina posted an email from Snowden onto her Facebook page before heading down.

Russian news agency Interfax reported Snowden had been staying in the airport's capsule hotel before meeing human rights activists and lawyers openly in the transit zone. He was joined by Wikileaks lawyer Sarah Harrison.

Snowden reportedly said he is only accepting Russia's offer because of his "inability to travel".

Vladimir Putin offered Snowden asylum on the basis he would not leak any further details that had the potential to harm the United States, which he has now agreed to. Despite offers of asylum from Bolivia, Ecuador, Venezuela, and Nicaragua, Snowden lacked the required documents to travel. Even if he could travel, in an unprecedented move, Bolivia's Evo Morales had his flight grounded for suspicion of hiding Snowden.

The United States is chasing Snowden around the world for blowing the whistle on a global surveillance network ran by the NSA, Prism.

In the second part of his Guardian interview, Snowden said he had not handed over intelligence to foreign officials and that his motive was to uphold the constitution rather than to damage the United States.

A poll recently found that, despite establishment efforts to smear Snowden - something he had predicted - most Americans believe he is a "whistleblower" and not a "traitor".
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