Edward Snowden has been granted asylum in Russia for one year. Previously Snowden had been trapped inside the Moscow airport after the U.S. government revoked his travel rights as it became clear after an incident with Bolivian President Evo Morales that Russia’s neighbors would not allow a flight carrying Snowden to other countries to pass through their air space.
Edward Snowden slipped quietly out of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport on Thursday after Russia granted him temporary asylum, ending more than a month in limbo in the transit area.A Russian lawyer who has been assisting Snowden said the American, who is wanted in the United States for leaking details of secret government intelligence programs, had gone to a secure location which would remain secret.
After weeks staying out of sight from hordes of reporters desperate for a glimpse of him, Snowden managed to slip away in a taxi without being spotted. Grainy images of his passport showed he had been granted asylum for a year from July 31.
The conditions of Snowden’s asylum are still unknown. Russian President Putin had previously said he wanted Snowden to stop leaking documents in order to stay in country. Snowden was assisted in his asylum bid by transparency group Wikileaks.
Snowden was accompanied by Sarah Harrison, a representative of the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks, which confirmed he had left the airport.
“We would like to thank the Russian people and all those others who have helped to protect Mr. Snowden. We have won the battle – now the war,” WikiLeaks said on Twitter.
It has been a long strange journey for Edward Snowden but hopefully now that he has secured himself safe harbor for awhile the corporate press and others can refocus on the incredible information he revealed. As recently as yesterday we learned of an NSA program – that officials denied existed – that gives the NSA access to all internet users’ information.