Snowden's Asylum Requests Spurned

Created: 2013-07-03 11:28 EST

Category: World > Europe

The Moscow airport where former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden is reportedly stuck, awaiting news on his asylum requests in more than a dozen countries.

But the news so far hasn't been good.

On Tuesday, the Kremlin said the 30-year-old, speaking here to The Guardian newspaper, had withdrawn his request for asylum in Russia, after President Vladimir Putin said Snowden should give up his "anti-American activity".

India too denied his request, the country's foreign minister said.

[Salman Khurshid, Indian Foreign Minister]:
"I can't think of any reasons or circumstances in which India would give asylum."

Several countries, including Ecuador, have said asylum requests could only be made in their territories.

But while country after country denied the requests, Venezuelan leader Nicolas Maduro said Snowden deserved protection - and that Caracas would consider an asylum application.

Snowden is in legal limbo in the transit area of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport. He is wanted by the American government for revealing the secret U.S. electronic surveillance programme, Prism.

On Monday, the 30-year-old broke nine days of silence, saying he was free to publish more about Prism and that he was being illegally persecuted.

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