Reporting Linh Bui
WASHINGTON (WJZ) — A new twist in the unfolding story of Edward Snowden, the man who leaked NSA secrets to the world.
Snowden confirmed he plans to seek asylum in Russia.
But Linh Bui reports–Russia has not received such a request.
Russian immigration officials say they have not gotten an application from Edward Snowden–a day after he met privately with human rights advocates after emerging from seclusion.
“A little over one month ago, I had family, a home in paradise and I lived in great comfort,” Snowden said.
The former NSA contractor has spent three weeks hiding in a Moscow airport.
The U.S. government has charged him with espionage, after he revealed some of the most sensitive intelligence programs. But Friday, he insisted he did nothing wrong.
In a statement later posted on the WikiLeaks website, Snowden said:
“I have been made stateless and hounded for my act of political expression… I ask for your assistance in requesting guarantees of safe passage.”
Tatiana Lokshina is the deputy head of the Russian office of Human Rights Watch. She met with Snowden.
“He looks all right. He says that his living conditions are okay, but, again, he cannot stay here indefinitely,” said Lokshina.
But U.S. officials have criticized Russians for allowing the meeting to happen.
“Providing a propaganda platform for Mr. Snowden runs counter to the Russian government’s previous declarations of Russia’s neutrality,” said White House Press Secretary, Jay Carney.
Snowden said he would seek Russian asylum, but wants to end up in Latin America. He’s been offered refuge in Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia.
Snowden also has strong ties to Maryland. He grew up in Howard County and studied at Anne Arundel Community College.