Ecuador mulls asylum for NSA whistleblower Snowden

NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, an analyst with a U.S. defence contractor, is seen in this still image taken from video during an interview by The Guardian in his hotel room in Hong Kong June 6. Credit: Reuters
NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, who worked for a defense contractor, faces a variety of charges in the U.S.
Credit: Reuters

Ecuador is reviewing Edward Snowden’s asylum request and will make a decision on the former U.S. intelligence contractor “in due time” based on human rights considerations above all, Foreign Minister Ricardo Patino said Monday.

The South American nation’s leftist government is in “respectful” contact with Russia but also taking into account the U.S. government’s position on the case, Patino told reporters during a visit to Vietnam.

“We will consider the position of the U.S. government and we will take a decision in due time in line with the (Ecuadorean) constitution, the laws, international politics and sovereignty,” Patino said.

At the start of his news conference in Hanoi, Patino read the formal asylum request from Snowden and compared his case with the “persecution” of U.S. soldier Bradley Manning, who is accused of giving secret U.S. data to the WikiLeaks website.

Snowden, a former National Security Agency contractor, is accused by the United States of espionage and is thought to be in Moscow.

Patino questioned the treason allegations against Snowden and said apparent U.S. surveillance of foreign nations was in fact a rights abuse against the whole world.

“Human rights principles will always be placed above any other interest,” Patino said.

“Ecuador’s government has maintained respectful contact with the Russian government and has said that it is considering the asylum request … Of course, we are considering the consequences of our decisions, but we act on our principles.”

Snowden, whose exposure of secret U.S. government surveillance raised questions about intrusions into private lives, was allowed to leave Hong Kong on Sunday after Washington asked the Chinese territory to arrest him on espionage charges.

Patino said Ecuador had received a U.S. request relating to Snowden via the U.S. envoy to Quito, and would consider it. He did not give details of that request.

Only Russia could say where Snowden was currently, the minister said. Reports that the 30-year-old would fly to Cuba on Monday were put in doubt when witnesses could not see him on the plane, despite heightened security.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Is #JusticeForAvaLynn a case of bullying?

On Saturday, the hashtag #JusticeForAvaLynn became one of the trending topics on Twitter. Users circulated the above photo of 5-year-old AvaLynn, posted by her mother…

International

Terrorism could spread to US and Europe in…

Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah said terrorism would soon spread to Europe and the United States unless it is quickly dealt with in the Middle East,…

National

Ex-Bitcoin official to plead guilty to Silk Road…

Bitcoin entrepreneur Charlie Shrem has reached a plea deal to resolve U.S. charges that he engaged in a scheme to sell over $1 million of…

International

China's army changes tactics to prepare for war…

Chinese President Xi Jinping has said China will spur military innovation and called on the army to create a new strategy for "information warfare" as…

Gossip

Joan Rivers on life support: Report

TMZ reports that comedian Joan Rivers has been placed on life support, "completely reliant on machines to stay alive." Rivers has been hospitalized since she…

Movies

What's new on Netflix in September

September has a supernatural theme for Netflix. UFO "documentaries" and the survivalist reality series "Doomsday Preppers" are among the new series coming to the online…

Going Out

'Friends' coffeehouse Central Perk coming to NYC —…

"Friends" is coming back for a one-off special: "The One with the Free Coffee." Warner Bros. is bringing a pop-up replica of Central Perk, the…

Movies

Interview: 'As Above, So Below' directors: 5 ways…

The fraternal directors of the found footage horror "As Above, So Below" dish on the best ways to frighten the bejesus out of audiences.

NFL

3 things we learned in the Giants preseason…

The final score didn’t matter — a 16-13 win by the Giants — but it would’ve been nice to finally see Big Blue’s new-look offense get on track.

NFL

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, 49ers start…

NFL Power Rankings: Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots start at top

U.S. Soccer

5 facts about new England captain Wayne Rooney

Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney was named as the new England captain by coach Roy Hodgson on Thursday.

NFL

Jets vs. Eagles: 3 things to watch

A win on Thursday night at the Eagles would give the Jets a 3-1 record and just their second winning preseason under head coach Rex Ryan.

Wellbeing

VIDEO: Still not wearing sunscreen? You will after…

Sunscreen is possibly the most often repeated - and ignored - piece of skincare advice. But Thomas Leveritt took a different tactic. With a short…

Food

Twitter used to track down sources of food…

When Chicago health officials saw Twitter users complaining about local food poisoning episodes, they reached out on Twitter to those users and often ended up…

Style

Trend: White hot on the 2014 Emmy's red…

White was one of the big trends on the Emmy's red carpet.

Food

Recipe: Samuel Adams beer-marinated grilled shrimp

Summer calls for two things: a cold beer and light food. Sam Adams' Latitude 48 IPA fairly bursts with citrus notes, making it an ideal marinade…