Whistleblower Edward Snowden is being seen in the Moscow airport where he’s been holed up for weeks, in a video of him during a meeting with human rights activists, officials said.
He told the group that he wants to be protected by a temporary asylum in Russia, but eventually he still wants to go to Latin America.
Not accomplishing that goal probably would mean at some point he would be picked up and returned to the United States, where authorities are interested in discussing federal charges against him.
According to NBC, Snowden emerged from hiding in the Russian airport Friday, making himself available for the first time since the latter part of June, when he arrived there from Hong Kong.
He traveled to Hong Kong as the first of a series of his reports on clandestine operations by the U.S. National Security Agency was being leaked to media.
Among other things, the reports said the NSA can, and has, collected data from millions of telephone users across the United States.
In the brief video excerpt, he explains, “A little over one month ago, I had family, a home in paradise, and lived in great comfort. I also… had the capability, without any warrant of law, to search for, seize and read your communications. Anyone’s communications, at any time. That is the power to change people’s fates. It is also a serious violation of the law.”
Snowden has been at Sheremetyevo Airport since June 23. Russian authorities say in that location, he technically hasn’t entered onto Russian soil. He has been seeking asylum from a number of countries.
At last report, he had been offered asylum by three nations in Latin America, Ecuador, Bolivia and Venezuela. The trick, however, would be getting to those nations, because the U.S. could force an airplane to the ground if it passes over U.S. airspace, and he could be taken into custody.
In an earlier statement that Snowden released, before his appearance, he said the U.S. is running “an unlawful campaign … to deny my right to seek and enjoy this asylum.”