'Snowden blames Obama for trying to block his efforts to find asylum'

  • Reuters, Washington
  • Updated: Jul 02, 2013 09:22 IST

Former US National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden, charged with leaking secret US surveillance information, said on Monday the Obama administration was denying him his right to seek asylum, according to a statement released by the WikiLeaks organization.

"It is being reported that after promising not to do so, the President ordered his vice president to pressure the leaders of nations from which I have requested protection to deny my asylum petitions," Snowden said in a statement published on the WikiLeaks website, referring to President Barack Obama and vice president Joe Biden.

"This kind of deception from a world leader is not justice, and neither is the extralegal penalty of exile."

In the statement, Snowden blamed the Obama administration for adopting "the strategy of using citizenship as a weapon" in its efforts to block his search for asylum and said he was "unbowed in his convictions."

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