Snowden refugees feel safe in Canada, while he stays in Russia

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Photo in action on NSA scandal/asylum for Snowden, taken on March 12, 2014, at the European Parliament (Greensefa/Flickr)

US reaction?

On March 25, 2019, one of the refugees, who sheltered Edward Snowden in Hong Kong when he was fleeing from the United States, arrived in Canada together with her seven-year-old daughter where they were granted refugee status.

According to The Canadian Press, on the next day, at the press conference organized by a Canadian not-for-profit organization For the Refugees which supported and fundraised for the cause, Vanessa Rodel asked the Canadian government to finalize applications of five other Snowden refugees from Sri Lanka, one of whom was her daughter’s father and two more were half-siblings. All of them still remain refugee-seekers in Hong Kong, where their asylum applications were rejected, and their payments were cut off after their story was revealed in the 2016 Oliver Stone’s movie Snowden. Meanwhile, Vanessa Rodel and her daughter Keana will settle in Montreal.

Edward Snowden himself holds a temporary residency permit in Russia which was extended until 2020, as reported by the Courage Foundation. He landed in Moscow on June 23, 2013, on his way from Hong Kong, where he had publicly revealed classified documents, to Ecuador where he had requested political asylum. The same day, Snowden’s passport was cancelled which is why he couldn’t board his flight at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow. On June 26, the Russian President spoke in favour of the American fugitive, having stated that he wouldn’t be deported to the United States. On June 30, still staying in the airport’s transit zone, Snowden submitted applications for political asylum to Russia as well as to 18 other countries. Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua responded positively at the beginning of July, although Snowden decided to re-apply for temporary asylum in Russia due to the impossibility for him to travel to Latin American under the given circumstances. His one-year asylum was granted on August 1, 2013, after that he got the above-mentioned residency permit. Now, Snowden is entitled to apply for Russian citizenship.

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