France’s foreign minister has said “it’s not the time” to grant a new asylum request from former US National Security Agency contractor and whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Snowden gained asylum in Russia after Barack Obama’s adminstration revoked his passport – rendering him stateless – while he was travelling to Latin America in 2013. The revocation left him stranded in Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport. Snowden was en route to seek asylum after leaking classified documents detailing government mass surveillance programmes.
Asking France again for asylum this week, he argued that “protecting whistleblowers is not a hostile act”.
Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian told CNews television that when Snowden first asked for French asylum in 2013, the government “considered it was not the time. I don’t see what has changed”.
Snowden has also sought asylum in several other countries. His memoir was released in about 20 countries this week, including France.
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