Snowden calls for international help over his spying charges

Snowden calls for international help over his spying charges
Sat Nov 2, 2013 12:11:01

Edward Snowden, former employee of US National Security Agency who blew the whistle over US illegal spying says the international community can persuade the US administration to drop spying charges against him.

"I am confident that with the support of the international community, the government of the United States will abandon this harmful behavior,” he wrote in a letter to a German lawmaker whom Snowden met with in Moscow.

The former National Security Agency contractor said he wants to testify before Congress about the NSA’s spying activities.

The whistleblower said that the US government "continues to treat dissent as defection, and seeks to criminalize political speech with felony charges that provide no defense."

"However, speaking the truth is not a crime," Snowden wrote.

Meanwhile, US State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the US position "has not changed."

"Despite recent reports or recent pronouncements from Mr. Snowden, as we've stated many times before, he's accused of leaking classified information, faces felony charges here in the United States and we believe he should be returned as soon as possible, where he will be accorded full due process and protections applicable under US law," she said.

German lawmaker Hans-Christian Stroebele said he had suggested Snowden testify before German lawmakers and that he responded that in fact he wants to testify in Washington.

"He didn't present himself as an enemy of America, quite the opposite," Stroebele said.

Many details of the NSA’s global spying programs have been disclosed by Snowden since June.

He is currently in Russia after Moscow granted him asylum for one year.

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