Brazil will not grant Snow­den asy­lum: re­port

China Daily (Hong Kong) - - WORLD - By AGEN­CIES in Brasilia

Brazil has no plans to grant asy­lum to Ed­ward Snow­den even af­ter the for­mer US Na­tional Se­cu­rity Agency con­trac­tor of­fered on Tues­day to help in­ves­ti­gate rev­e­la­tions of spy­ing on Brazil­ians and their pres­i­dent, a lo­cal news­pa­per re­ported.

Cit­ing un­named gov­ern­ment of­fi­cials, Folha de S. Paulo re­ported that the Brazil­ian gov­ern­ment has no in­ter­est in in­ves­ti­gat­ing the mass In­ter­net sur­veil­lance pro­grams Snow­den re­vealed in June and does not in­tend to give him asy­lum.

In an Open Let­ter to the Brazil­ian Peo­ple pub­lished by Folha and so­cial me­dia, Snow­den of­fered to help a con­gres­sional probe into NSA spy­ing on the coun­try, in­clud­ing the per­sonal com­mu­ni­ca­tions of Brazil­ian Pres­i­dent Dilma Rouss­eff.

“I have ex­pressed my will­ing­ness to as­sist wher­ever ap­pro­pri­ate and law­ful, but un­for­tu­nately the United States gov­ern­ment has worked very hard to limit my abil­ity to do so,” the let­ter said.

Snow­den is liv­ing in Rus­sia un­der tem­po­rary asy­lum that is due to ex­pire in Au­gust. He had pre­vi­ously asked for asy­lum in Brazil, among other coun­tries, but Brasilia did not an­swer his re­quest.

While Snow­den stopped short of ask­ing for asy­lum again in the let­ter, he sug­gested that any col­lab­o­ra­tion with Brazil­ian au­thor­i­ties would de­pend upon them grant­ing him asy­lum.

“Un­til a coun­try grants per­ma­nent po­lit­i­cal asy­lum, the US gov­ern­ment will con­tinue to in­ter­fere with my abil­ity to speak,” Snow­den said.

The rev­e­la­tions of NSA spy­ing dam­aged re­la­tions be­tween the US and Latin Amer­ica’s largest coun­try and prompted Rouss­eff to can­cel a state visit to Wash­ing­ton in Oc­to­ber. The spy­ing also led Rouss­eff to be­come a global ad­vo­cate for curbs on In­ter­net sur­veil­lance.

Ev­i­dence that the NSA mon­i­tored Rouss­eff’s e-mail and cell­phone, along with hack­ing the net­work of staterun oil com­pany Petro­bras, an­gered Brazil­ians and led the Se­nate to in­ves­ti­gate the ex­tent of US spy­ing.

In con­junc­tion with the pub­li­ca­tion of the let­ter, Snow­den’s sup­port­ers have or­ga­nized an online drive to gather sig­na­tures to pres­sure Rouss­eff into giv­ing him asy­lum.

How­ever, a Brazil­ian for­eign min­istry spokesman said Brazil has never re­ceived a for­mal ap­pli­ca­tion for asy­lum from Snow­den and thus had noth­ing to con­sider.

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