Poland rejects asylum bid by NSA whistleblower Snowden


Poland has formally rejected an asylum bid by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden.

Polish Foreign Minister Radosław Sikorski used the Twitter social media network on July 2, to state that the government had received a document which did not meet the formal requirements for an application for asylum. Mr Sikorski added that, even if the paperwork had been in order, he would not recommend that Mr Snowden be granted asylum in Poland because ‘Poland and the United States are allies’.

Screenshot from Radosław Sikorski’s Twitter conversation this morning. See below for transcription and translation into English.

Mr Snowden fled the USA for Hong Kong after leaking top secret information revealing the extent to which the US government eavesdrops on telephone and internet data from users around the world. Then he flew to Moscow, where he is still ‘in transit’ according to Russian authorities, as the United States has revoked his passport leaving him unable to cross international borders. He has applied for asylum in Poland, Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Cuba, Ecuador, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, India, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and Venezuela.

Mr Snowden’s revelations sparked a series of further reports on the surveillance activities of the US and other states. Late in June, Inside-Poland.com revealed that the US government had asked for and received personal data on at least 70 internet users in Poland. The German magazine Der Spiegel then disclosed that the US had also directly and covertly accessed information held on European Union computers in Brussels and America.

Mr Snowden said he would continue to release information that was ‘in the public interest’ as long as he was free. The United States has issued a warrant for his arrest, as he is wanted for questioning on accusations of espionage.

Translation of Mr Sikorski’s Twitter conversation, July 2, 2013, 7.58am-11.37am.

Kamila Biedrzycka @ KBiedrzycka
@sikorskiradek Minister, does the Foreign Ministry have any information on the E Snowden application for asylum in Poland?
Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski @sikorskiradek
@KBiedrzycka A letter that does not meet the formal requirements for application for asylum has been received. But even if it did, I would not give a positive recommendation.
Krzysztof Trzewiczek @Trzewiczek
@ sikorskiradek “I would not give a positive recommendation” because …?
Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski @sikorskiradek
@Trzewiczek Because Poland and the United States are allies.

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