Norway’s Bogarting Court of Appeal has dismissed a request from Edward Snowden’s legal team for assurances that the NSA whistleblower wouldn’t be detained and extradited to the United States if he were to travel to Norway. The court decided that it could not rule on the matter because there is no standing extradition request from the United States, affirming the similar decision of a lower court this summer.
RootsAction, Norwegian PEN and Networkers South-North are launching a campaign and petition at 4pm local time today in support of bringing Edward Snowden to Norway in order to receive the Ossietzky Prize in November this year. The petition’s initial signatories include Noam Chomsky, Arundhati Roy, Daniel Ellsberg, Marit Arnstad, Jesselyn Radack, Arne Ruth, Ola Larsmo, Coleen Rowley, Thomas Drake, Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, Marjorie Cohn, William Binney, William Nygaard, John Kiriakou, Moddi og Mari Boine.
The European Parliament has voted 285-281 for its member states to “drop any criminal charges against Edward Snowden, grant him protection and consequently prevent extradition or rendition by third parties, in recognition of his status as whistleblower and international human rights defender.”
Switzerland’s Attorney General has raised the possibility that Edward Snowden could testify about NSA surveillance in Switzerland – and apply for asylum there – without fear of onward extradition to the United States.
The written legal opinion, seen by Swiss newspapers le Matin Dimanche and Sonntags Zeitung, states there is no legal impediment to Mr Snowden being granted Swiss asylum but leaves open the possibility of “higher state obligations” taking priority. While those “higher state obligations” are left undefined, this is – on the face of it – a rather more positive response than inquiries seeking Mr Snowden’s participation in person have received elsewhere.
Edward Snowden’s three-year Russian residency permit allows him to travel abroad for periods of up to three months. This new possibility has reopened debate on a topic that the German government has gone to some lengths to keep closed: could Edward Snowden come to Berlin to testify to the Bundestag inquiry?