Last we heard, Edward Snowden was still stuck in the transit area of Russia’s International airport without a passport and no means of travel. Being stranded in the no-man’s land of airport transit has its advantages since you’re not on any country’s jurisdiction, but it also has its own difficulties. Snowden has been offered asylum from several South American countries, including Bolivia, but without a passport, he’ll be hard pressed to make his way there.
According to earlier reports, Snowden’s plan was to apply for temporary asylum in Russia and then fly over to South America when he got the chance. However, no one was sure if Russia would offer him that temporarily asylum considering that President Obama and Vladimir Putin had a long chat earlier last week, and you can imagine the veiled threats that the US government probably made. And you can also imagine that Putin told the POTUS where to stick it. There is no way that Putin would ever hand Snowden over the the USA.
Despite that, Snowden has gone ahead with his plan and applied for temporary asylum in Russia. The Migration service also confirmed that it received the application, stating, “For now he is not going to go anywhere. For now he plans to stay in Russia.” Apparently, Snowden had written that he fears the threat of execution and torture if he was to return back to the US, which is prime grounds for granting asylum. In all honestly, Snowden should be granted asylum from any country he applies to – the reason asylum exists is to protect its citizens from persecution in their own countries. Obviously, President Obama and the executive branch of the US Government are refusing to accept asylum for Snowden, and continue to blackmail and pressure any country that tries to offer it to Snowden.
Thankfully, Snowden has some great lawyers on his side, including several Wikileaks lawyers who also assisted Julian Assange with his asylum process. Interestingly enough, one of his lawyers, Anatoly Kucherena, also helped Putin with his re-election campaign last year. It’s a clear sign of Putin’s support, so we’re guessing that temporary asylum request will be granted pretty soon.