Edward Snowden
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Amnesty International has called on Brazil's government to give serious consideration to Edward Snowden's application for asylum. "Edward Snowden has every right to seek permanent asylum and the Brazilian authorities should respond to his initial asylum claim seriously," said Atila Roque, Director of Amnesty International Brazil . The comments come after Snowden wrote an "open letter to the people of Brazil" asking the country to consider his permanent asylum in exchange for his help anaylzing the NSA's spy operations in the country.

Brazil's government has said that Snowden's claim will not be considered until he makes a formal application. Yet Roque argued "the claim must be considered in a fair, unbiased and effective refugee determination procedure. It is his right to seek international protection, and it's also Brazil 's international obligation to review and decide on his request under the refugee convention." Roque went on to remind the Dilma Rousseff's administration that "The Brazilian people, who suffered political persecution and mass surveillance during the years of dictatorship in the country, know all too well its abusive effects."

Snowden, a former NSA analyst who leaked 1.7 million classified documents detailing the US' complex global spy operations, is considered a fugitive by American authorities and is currently living in Russia under temporary asylum. In the letter published on Monday via Facebook and Brazilian newspaper Folha, Snowden wrote that "until a country grants permanent political asylum, the U.S. government will continue to interfere with my ability to speak."

Roque concluded saying "Edward Snowden is a whistleblower who has disclosed an unlawful global digital surveillance programme that has violated the right to privacy of millions of people. As such, he has grounds to seek asylum abroad out of well-founded fears the USA would persecute him for hisactions."

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