Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Spain says 'no' to Snowden asylum, Europe may be a problem generally

On Tuesday, Spain's Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo completely ruled out any chances of asylum for Edward Snowden in Spain. Other European countries also have a problem with the request.


It was reported on Tuesday that via the Russian consulate in the Moscow airport, Edward Snowden, the NSA whistleblower, had applied to a total of 21 countries for political asylum.

In a statement to the media at Spain's Parliament, the minister said that according to Spain's asylum laws, people could only apply for asylum in Spain, if they were already on Spanish soil.

"For an asylum petition to become a petition that the government could study, in other words for it to be legally admissible, it has to be made by a person who is in Spain," he said, adding that he actually had no knowledge of an application being made. 

As Snowden is currently trapped in the transit zone of Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport, this is obviously "not the case".

García-Margallo further said the Spanish Government was not looking into the matter as there were no judicial grounds on which to do so.

It turns out that other European countries have a similar problem. Norwegian deputy justice secretary Paal Loenseth told the state broadcaster NRK:
"Delivering an application for asylum from abroad is in principle not allowed."
"Applying for asylum should be done on Norwegian soil. According to normal procedures ... his demand will be denied."  
Poland's Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski also stated that Snowden's asylum request had been turned down, saying there were faults but not elaborating on them.

The countries that Snowden has applied to are: Austria, Bolivia, Brazil, China, Cuba, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and Venezuela.

Russia would accept Snowden, if he drops all further leaks which may damage the US.

Snowden remains holed up in the transit area of Moscow's Sheremetyevo Airport, where he has been since fleeing Hong Kong over a week ago, in the company of Sarah Harrison, a legal representative of WikiLeaks.

Meanwhile the scandal over the worldwide surveillance by the NSA continues to grow as more information is revealed from Snowden's leaks.

To the source: http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/353542