Reporters Without Borders: Why Europeans Must Protect Snowden

Julian Assange and RWB member believe European countries owe Snowden gratitude

European nations must protect Edward Snowden, concludes a joint article written by WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and Christophe Deloire, general secretary of Reporters Without Borders, organization that defends the freedom to be informed.

The piece starts off by mentioning the Nobel Peace Price received last October by the European Union for its contribution to the “advancement of peace and reconciliation, democracy and human rights in Europe.”

In a call to make nations from the European Union feel worthy of this prize, they need to defend freedom of information regardless of the pressures made by the United States.

A great part of the nations that Snowden has requested asylum in are situated in Europe, namely Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Iceland, Norway, Poland, Spain, Switzerland and Russia.

Some of these countries have already claimed that Snowden’s request for asylum is invalid since he isn’t on their territories, while others outright denied to help the NSA whistleblower.

Assange and Deloir say that all these countries should extend their welcome “under whatever law or status seems most appropriate.”

“The EU countries owe Snowden a debt of gratitude for his revelations, which were clearly in the public interest,” the article says, referring to all the things that have been revealed so far. This includes the phone call metadata collection, PRISM and the electronic surveillance of foreign embassies.

There is also a harsh criticism at how the United States has been acting. While the country’s politicians proclaimed that they were protecting the freedom of the Internet, they were in fact behind the biggest spying programs so far.

“American leaders should realize the glaring contradiction between their soaring odes to freedom and the realities of official actions, which damage the image of the country,” the authors say.

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