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Statement by Edward Snowden to human rights groups at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport

Originally posted Friday 12 July, 15:00 UTC on WikiLeaks. The introduction is written by WikiLeaks.

Edward Joseph Snowden delivered a statement to human rights organizations and individuals at Sheremetyevo airport at 5pm Moscow time today, Friday 12th July. The meeting lasted 45 minutes. The human rights organizations included Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch and were given the opportunity afterwards to ask Mr Snowden questions. The Human Rights Watch representative used this opportunity to tell Mr Snowden that on her way to the airport she had received a call from the US Ambassador to Russia, who asked her to relay to Mr Snowden that the US Government does not categorise Mr Snowden as a whistleblower and that he has broken United States law. This further proves the United States Government’s persecution of Mr Snowden and therefore that his right to seek and accept asylum should be upheld. Seated to the left of Mr Snowden was Sarah Harrison, a legal advisor in this matter from WikiLeaks and to Mr Snowden’s right, a translator.

Transcript of Edward Joseph Snowden statement, given at 5pm Moscow time on Friday 12th July 2013 (Transcript corrected to delivery):

Hello. My name is Ed Snowden. A little over one month ago, I had family, a home in paradise, and I lived in great comfort. I also had the capability without any warrant to search for, seize, and read your communications. Anyone’s communications at any time. That is the power to change people’s fates.

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