Edward Snowden: a high price for whistleblowing
Edward Snowden faces up to 30 years in prison. Instead of investigating the abuses he brought to light, the US government is intent on making sure the next whistleblower remains silent.
In June 2013, National Security Agency (NSA) subcontractor Edward Snowden exposed unlawful and wide-sweeping surveillance programs run by the NSA and the secret “Five Eyes” alliance of the US, UK, Australia, Canada and New Zealand. These governments are intercepting, storing and analyzing the private information of people around world on a massive scale.
The revelations also confirmed that human rights organizations including Amnesty International have been under surveillance, placing our research and partnerships at risk.
“My sole motive is to inform the public as to that which is done in their name and that which is done against them.”
Edward Snowden has paid a high price for exposing these abuses. He was forced to seek asylum in Russia where he has temporary residency until 2017. He remains unable to travel to countries including Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua which have offered him permanent asylum.
The US wants to extradite Edward Snowden and has charged him with violating the 1917 Espionage Act, an outdated law which prevents him from presenting a defence that explains his motives were in the public interest. Senior US officials have branded him a traitor and guilty, raising serious questions about whether a fair trial is possible.
No one should be charged for disclosing information about human rights violations.
Please write to US authorities calling on them not to punish Edward Snowden for exposing the NSA`s wide-sweeping and unlawful surveillance programs.
Urge that the charges against Edward Snowden under the Espionage Act be dropped. If he is to face trial, please ensure that he is receives a fair trial, is allowed to present a public interest defence, and is guaranteed whistleblowers ' protections.
President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500
Comments can be made via www.whitehouse.gov/contact/submit-questions-and-comments
Salutation: Dear President Obama
Attorney General of the United States
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
Salutation: Dear Attorney General