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Snowden Leaves Sheremetyevo, Enters Russia on Temporary Asylum
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Edward Snowden the NSA surveillance leaker has left the transit zone of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport and has entered Russia after he was granted temporary asylum by Russian authorities. Russia has dismissed US requests to hand over Snowden. The media received the information on Thursday from Anatoly Kucherena, Snowden’s lawyer.

Kucherena said that Snowden would be in a safe shelter for security reasons and his whereabouts cannot be made public. A Russian television show broadcasted on Wednesday that Snowden’s father would like to visit him in Moscow, and Kucherena confirmed that she is arranging the trip.

  
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Since Snowden revealed evidence of the widespread NSA surveillance, it has started a national debate on privacy issues and government overreach. Secret courts and secret interpretations of law have come under fire, as has the lack of monitoring and vigilance over access to classified information.

Earlier, Snowden had withdrawn his request for asylum to Russia after Putin had declared that his application would be considered only if he stopped leaking U.S. secrets. Kucherena confirmed that Snowden has accepted that condition.

Snowden has been alternately dubbed a traitor and a hero by sections of the public, including US citizens and the world. His revelations have kicked off citizen scrutiny of government overreach in many countries and influenced political relations within countries as well as between countries.

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Countries in South America, including Venezuela have offered asylum to Snowden, while many other countries opined that his asylum requests can be considered only if he reaches their soil or their embassies.

Snowden was unable to reach the embassy of any country which has offered him asylum without a visa to enter Russia. Since US revoked his passport, he was stuck in the airport without any way to travel. The grant of temporary asylum from Russia breaks that impasse, and sets the stage for unfolding the next scenes in this drama with deep political as well as humanitarian implications.





 

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