Civic Solidarity members call for Edward Snowden’s protection

Mass surveillance of citizens’ private communications is unacceptable; whistle-blowers and journalists should be protected.

Index on Censorship called upon the US government to uphold the First Amendment. Whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden — as well as journalists reporting on the Prism scandal, who have come under fire — should be protected under the first amendment, not criminalised.

Index also condemns the alleged tapping of communications cables by the NSA and GCHQ, that would allow the mass surveillance of both meta data and content from individuals’ private communications.

Index CEO Kirsty Hughes said: “The mass surveillance of citizens’ private communications is unacceptable – it both invades privacy and threatens freedom of expression. The US government cannot use the excuse of national security to justify either surveillance on this scale or the extradition of Snowden for revealing it.”

ARTICLE 19 is gravely concerned with the safety and future fate of Edward Snowden, who sent request for political asylum to 21 countries but has already been rejected by at least eight. There is also strong evidence of the USA putting pressures on European countries to close their airspace to Bolivian President Morales’ plane, forcing it to land in Austria where it was reportedly searched.

“The manhunt for Edward Snowden must be stopped. More energy is being spent on arresting one whistleblower that exposed human rights violations than has been spent on finding and arresting perpetrators of war crimes or crimes against humanity.  Governments from around the world should be ashamed,” says Agnes Callamard, ARTICLE 19 Executive Director.