Edward Snowden hails Russia asylum as victory for rule of law

American whistleblower Edward Snowden has hailed Russia’s decision to give him asylum as a victory for the rule of law.

“Over the past eight weeks we have seen the [US President Barack] Obama administration show no respect for international or domestic law, but in the end the law is winning,” the former technical contractor for the US National Security Agency (NSA) said in a statement released on Thursday.

He was allowed on Thursday to leave Russia’s Sheremetyevo International Airport in Moscow, where he has been staying for over a month. His lawyer Anatoly Kucherena said Snowden has been given “a certificate that he has been awarded temporary asylum in Russia for one year.”

The 30-year-old NSA leaker, who has been charged in the United States with espionage and theft of government property, also thanked Moscow for granting him asylum.

Snowden leaked two top secret US government spying programs, under which the NSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are eavesdropping on millions of American and European phone records and the Internet data from major Internet companies such as Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Apple, and Microsoft.

One day before Snowden was granted asylum, his father thanked Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and the Russian nation for protecting his son.

Meanwhile, his lawyer has said that Snowden plans to rent an apartment and find a job in Russia.

“Snowden is an expert, a very high-level expert and I am receiving letters from companies and citizens who would eagerly give him a job. He will not have any problems,” Kucherena said.

He added that since Snowden is not “a rich man,” he knows that “he has to work and he has to keep on living.”

Snowden first revealed his identity in June as the principal source behind articles published in the Washington Post and the Guardian about the NSA spying programs.

By Press TV


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