U.S. Surveillance Violates Human Rights

Created: 2013-07-03 11:48 EST

Category: World > South America

Ecuador’s National Assembly member on Tuesday said the United States' surveillance over the world is a serious crime that violates human rights.

Ecuador is assessing former U.S. intelligence contractor Edward Snowden's asylum request.

[Mauro Andino, Ecuadoran National Assembly Member]:
"The United States is conducting surveillance over the world—it is a serious crime. In the perspective of national sovereignty, it is a severe violation of human rights; it is almost a crime against humanity. They snoop our network, our social activities and even our phones. This behavior should be banned anyway. I hope the U.S. government can face up to the issue and respect people's right to privacy all around the world."

The government of Ecuador says it’s still assessing the intelligence leaker's request and the whole issue.

Ecuador's President Rafael Correa had earlier announced that his administration would consider an asylum application from Snowden.

He renounced preferential customs tariffs with the U.S. days later, even though the decision would lead to an annual loss of more than 23 million U.S. dollars.

[Gabriela Rivadeneira, President of Ecuadoran National Assembly]:
"The National Assembly supports President Rafael Correa's decision to renounce the preferential customs tariffs with the U.S.. We also believe that we will build up favorable trade relations with other countries."

However, Correa says his government cannot begin considering whether it will grant asylum to Snowden until he enters Ecuadorian territory.

Russia said Tuesday that Edward Snowden aborted his intention to ask for political asylum in Russia.

Meanwhile, countries, including Norway, India, Brazil, Austria and Bolivia, have already reportedly turned down his asylum request.