No pardon for Snowden, says US administrationworld Updated: Sep 15, 2016 22:34 IST
Edward Snowden speaks via video link at a news conference for the launch of a campaign calling for President Barack Obama to pardon him in New York City on Wednesday. (AFP)
The United States has rejected fresh calls for presidential pardon for Edward Snowden, the NSA contractors whose leaks about the agency’s surveillance programmes shook up the world.
“Edward Snowden is not a whistleblower. There actually is a specific process that is well-established and well-protected that allows whistleblowers to raise concerns that they have, particularly when it relates to confidential or classified information, to do so in a way that protects the national security secrets of the US,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Wednesday.
“That is not what Mr Snowden did.”
The appeal was issued after the release of the biopic “Snowden” over the past weekend. Snowden himself joined the call for pardon in a videoconference from Moscow, where he is in self-exile, with representatives from American Civil Liberties Union, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International earlier this week.
“From time to time we see that governments redraw the boundaries of our rights behind closed doors,” Snowden said.“If we are to sustain a free society for the next century, we must ensure that whistleblowers can act safely.”
“Snowden” is an Oliver Stone film, made with Snowden’s cooperation.