Update: India has turned down Edward Snowden’s asylum requests, reports the Press Trust of India. Well, no surprises there.
India turns down Snowden’s asylum request: MEA.
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) July 2, 2013
Earlier report: Wikileaks has appealed to India and other countries to provide political asylum to NSA whistle-blower Edward Snowden.
On 30th June 2013 WikiLeaks’ legal adviser in the Edward Snowden matter, Sarah Harrison, submitted by hand a number of requests for asylum and asylum assistance on behalf of Edward J. Snowden, the NSA whistleblower.
Snowden, a former defense contractor in the United States, has been charged with treason by America for leaking secret documents on the country’s massive surveillance program.
The other countries to which Wikileaks has applied for asylum include: Austria, Bolivia, China, Germany, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland, Venezuela, Ecuador and Ireland.
Wikileaks founder Julian Assange himself is holed up in the Ecuadorian embassy in west London to prevent extradition by the Swedish prosecution which has alleged Assange of committing rape and sexual molestation. The head of the whistle-blower organisation denies the allegation. Assasnge supporters fear that it is a US ploy to get him arrested. Assange has been charged in the US for leaking secret military cables that caused an international furore over US military practices.
Meanwhile, the relations between Ecuador and Assange are reportedly strained over his involvement in the Snowden case. The Independent news paper of UK reported.
Ecuador’s President Rafael Correa was furious with his own diplomat Fidel Narvaez, who – in conjunction with Mr Assange – organised the handing of a safe passage letter to Mr Snowden.
Chances of India coming to the fore to help Snowden are slim. As we’d written before, India has a history of being non committal in such cases. This time around, it would be particularly keen to skirt controversy as it negotiates complex trade with the United States.
After the US secret surveillance program was leaked, it came to light that the American government was collecting information on Indian citizen as well. However, this did not get much attention from the Indian government (except for a meek: we will ask for details from the US). India is set to reveal its national cyber security policy on Tuesday.
Recommended Read: Dear India, Show Some Spine: Take Hong Kong for Example