In June 2013, just a few weeks after Edward Snowden leaked information about the mass surveillance in America, he was accused of espionage and theft of state property. The United States of America demanded his extradition from Hong Kong, where he was at the time. He now lives in Russia, where he has no rights, no legal status and no possibility to go back to his home country. His motives? To inform the public of the surveillance they’re under from the NSA, what happens in their name and what happens against them.
In a working society, there must be a possibility to reveal violations of human rights brought about by the government. In this case, it’s the mass violation of the individual’s right to privacy. The “whistleblower” Edward Snowden is in truth a defender of human rights. Now, Edward Snowden is stuck in Russia, and due to the good relations between president-elect Trump and president Putin, there is no guarantee that he will remain safe. That such a thing as this can happen in America, the supposed defender of democracy, is outrageous. Amnesty International demands that:
With the campaign for Edward Snowden, Amnesty wishes to raise awareness and open up for a discussion on human rights violations. The possibility and right to inform about these violations is central in a democratic society. This is as well a question about digital rights and rights online: surveillance is more and more being used to control and silence human rights defenders, especially by repressive states. Attention must be brought to questions like these; it’s about the freedom of speech and the freedom of assembly which is threatened by this surveillance.
It’s important to understand that Snowden is not a spy. He never sold or shared information with foreign governments, like Russia or China, as is a common belief. Edward Snowden shared the information with the public, and did America a great favour. Snowden’s action has led to changes in the American law, and President Obama hired experts to look into the methods of the NSA and they found that one of the programs used by the NSA violated the constitution.
If you want to know more or help Edward Snowden’s case, please visit Amnesty.org.