Ecuador considering Snowden’s request for political asylum

Ecuadorian FM Ricardo Patino read out Edwar Snowden’s asylum request in which the American has compared himself to the US Army intelligence analyst Bradley Manning who is now on trial for “aiding the enemy”. Manning was accused of providing secret document to Wikileaks.

“It is unlikely that I will have a fair trial or humane treatment before trial in the US”, wrote Snowden in his letter, said Ricardo Patino.

He underlined that decision for asylum had to do with freedom of expression and with security of citizens around the world.

“Ecuador wants to manifest that its government acts in line with its Constitution, International humanitarian law, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These laws are always above any other state interests. These are the universal and inalienable rights of all humans. Thus, US breach 4th and 5th amendment of US Constitution and UN human rights”, said Patino.

Ecuador FM argued why word “treason” was used by US authorities: “It should be asked who has betrayed who. Are some citizens not loyal to fellow citizens by unveiling such violations? What is the concept of treason? Is Snowden betraying the citizens of the world or some elites who are currently in power?”

Government of Ecuador will guarantee safety of people who work for the media and who communicate their message through the media, said the diplomat.

“No human being will be considered illegal because of his condition regarding immigration. We do not do this in Ecuador. Snowden in not ‘illegal’ in accord with article 41 of Ecuador Constitution”, he said. “Every human being has a legal right to the freedom of speech and this includes not being attacked for the use of these rights”.

Ricardo Patino confirmed that Edward Snowden arrived in Russia. “Government of Ecuador and Russia are in good relations. Russia will make a decision it sees fit for this case”, he said.

Responding to the question about Snowden’s current location Mr Patino said he could not give this information to the press just yet.

Mr Patino was also asked if Snowden were to travel to Ecuador how he would do this. The FM refused to answer the question while he added that the government of Ecuador has the right for sovereign decisions and US has to respect them.

Voice of Russia

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