Wednesday, June 12, 2013

NSA Whistleblower Edward Snowden to HK's South China Morning Post: "I am not here to hide from justice; I am here to reveal criminality"

He also says he has "faith in Hong Kong’s rule of law". So he is still in Hong Kong.

There are many commentators in the US and outside who say Hong Kong is an odd choice for anyone seeking liberty and freedom, and of all things, rule of law. There are some conservative talk show hosts in the US who tell their not-so-knowledgeable listeners that Hong Kong is the most repressive regime in the world.

Hong Kong was under the British rule until 1997.

From South China Morning Post (6/12/2013; emphasis is mine):

Whistle-blower Edward Snowden tells SCMP: 'Let Hong Kong people decide my fate'

Ex-CIA operative wants to remain in Hong Kong

Lana Lam

Edward Snowden says he wants to ask the people of Hong Kong to decide his fate after choosing the city because of his faith in its rule of law.

The 29-year-old former CIA employee behind what might be the biggest intelligence leak in US history revealed his identity to the world in Hong Kong on Sunday. His decision to use a city under Chinese sovereignty as his haven has been widely questioned – including by some rights activists in Hong Kong.

Snowden said last night that he had no doubts about his choice of Hong Kong.

“People who think I made a mistake in picking Hong Kong as a location misunderstand my intentions. I am not here to hide from justice; I am here to reveal criminality,” Snowden said in an exclusive interview with the South China Morning Post.

“I have had many opportunities to flee HK, but I would rather stay and fight the United States government in the courts, because I have faith in Hong Kong’s rule of law,” he added.

Snowden says he has committed no crimes in Hong Kong and has “been given no reason to doubt [Hong Kong’s legal] system”.

“My intention is to ask the courts and people of Hong Kong to decide my fate,” he said.

Snowden, a former employee of US government contractor Booz Allen Hamilton who worked with the National Security Agency, boarded a flight to Hong Kong on May 20 and has remained in the city ever since.

His astonishing confession on Sunday sparked a media frenzy in Hong Kong, with journalists from around the world trying to track him down. It has also caused a flurry of debate in the city over whether he should stay and whether Beijing will seek to interfere in a likely extradition case.

The Hong Kong government has so far refused to comment on Snowden’s case. While many Hong Kong lawmakers, legal experts, activisits and members of the public have called on the city’s courts to protect Snowden’s rights, others such as Beijing loyalist lawmaker and former security chief Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee said he should leave.

Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor director Law Yuk-kai said he was surprised by Snowden’s choice, adding: “Snowden’s positive view of Hong Kong no longer matches the reality.”


Local activists plan to take to the streets on Saturday in support of Snowden. Groups including the Civil Human Rights Front and international human rights groups will march from Chater Gardens in Central to the US consulate on Garden Road, starting at 3pm.

The march is being organised by In-media, a website supporting freelance journalists.

“We call on Hong Kong to respect international legal standards and procedures relating to the protection of Snowden; we condemn the US government for violating our rights and privacy; and we call on the US not to prosecute Snowden,” the group said in a statement.

(Full article at the link)

As far as my personal experience goes, economic freedom exists in Hong Kong. People in Hong Kong have stood up for what they see as injustice and violation of human rights on numerous occasions. People I've encountered (mostly business people) are urbane, confident, and open.

Icelandic legislators have offered help to obtain asylum status for Snowden, and the spokesman for Russia's President Vladimir Putin has said Russia would consider asylum.


Anonymous said...

Yeah, Russia is the perfect place for a journalist to get protection, just ask Anna Politkovskaya.

Anonymous said...

Hope he's good at hiding.

Anonymous said...

Hong Kong was under the British rule until 1997.=
under British rule

Anonymous said...

Too bad Snowden is too young to understand that only certain types of criminality are really criminal.

Stealing tens, thousands or millions of $$$ is criminal. Stealing Billions is not criminal.

Killing a few people with a gun or a pressure cooker bomb; very criminal - killing hundreds of thousands by overthrowing a government and invading a country - not criminal.

Polluting your home by cooking up some meth; criminal, criminal, criminal - polluting your country and the Pacific Ocean with radiation; not criminal.

Dumping used motor oil down the drain; criminal - Allowing an open oil well to spew for several years under water; not criminal

Taking video of your local cops beating up some poor schmuck at a protest; criminal - keeping records of all digital communications all the time; not criminal

Publishing whistleblower information about government corruption on the internet: criminal - Completely trashing the intent of the US Constitution and first denying it, then when your lies are exposed saying it's in the name of "security"; not criminal...

Got it?

Darth 3.11 said...

Anon analysis ever. Totally concur.
And, other comments here are spectacularly insightful. Thanks. I'm not alone.

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