Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.


Snowden a recluse one year on from asylum

31 July 2014, 14:32

Moscow - Fugitive US intelligence agent Edward Snowden marks on Thursday one year of political asylum in Russia, where he continues to live a life shrouded in mystery amid a dearth of public appearances.

Little has been heard on the movements of the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor since he first obtained provisional leave to remain in Russia after spending, according to the official version a month in the transit area of Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport.

What is known about the reclusive Snowden is the city, in which he lives, that he is working and in which sector he has found a job.

The last picture of Snowden published in Russian media dates from December 2013. In it, the former agent sports a red t-shirt and beige cap, apparently on a boat in the middle of the Moskva river.

The popular website LifeNews also published an image of Snowden pushing a supermarket trolley while out shopping, which his lawyer, Anatoli Kucherena, confirmed to be genuine.

In April, Snowden made a shock appearance on an annual question and answer session with President Vladimir Putin, probing the Kremlin strongman on the surveillance of Russia's population.

"I would like to ask you: Does Russia intercept, store or analyse, in any way, the communications of millions of individuals?" he asked in a recorded message, appearing against a black background wearing a dark jacket and grey t-shirt.

Fear for his life

Accused by Washington of espionage and stealing state documents, Snowden travelled to Moscow via Hong Kong after revealing the true extent of global US electronic surveillance. He had intended to travel to South America.

The former NSA employee, who has had his passport withdrawn by US authorities, stayed in Russia after being granted asylum.

Snowden's lawyer Kucherena said on Tuesday that he still feared for his life.

"If I had the chance to organise a meeting with him, I would. But for now the question of security is still relevant", Kucherena said at a forum on eduction.

"I know his worries, his relationship to life, and his relationships with people. I know his relationship with his parents. He is a very honourable man", he said.

In January, Snowden received online death threats from some US officials, the identity of whom has not been revealed, according to Kucherena.

'Symbolic importance'

As hopes dwindle that he may be able to return to the US or obtain asylum in Brazil, which he has sought Snowden has asked for an extension of his residency permit in Russia, which expires on Thursday.

Kucherena indicated at the beginning of July that Snowden's renewal documents had been submitted to immigration services but that the procedure had not been finalised.

Russian officials have yet to make any formal announcement on the status of Snowden's application and Kucherena now refuses to comment on the subject.

However, immigration sources have told Russian media on the condition of anonymity that the renewal will be accepted, adding it was up to Snowden whether or not to announce the decision.

"The very presence of Snowden is of symbolic importance to Russia", said political scientist Alexei Makarkin.

"Snowden has become a symbol of the struggle for freedom, and that's useful for Russia. Today, that's one of the strongest arguments [Russia] could put to the international community" as relations with the West deteriorate, he said.



Read News24’s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Nigeria @ 56: Words to my green f...

A leader’s job is not to dictate, but rather to be respected, admired and be a trustee, of the land we love, with so much potential, a land which should be freer than free. Its still a long way to fufilling our destiny! Read more...

Submitted by
Isaac Asabor263
Recession: An opportunity for Nig...

The recession should be seen as an opportunity for the country’s promotion as long as we all collectively conduct ourselves in a patriotic manner, writes Isaac Asabor.  Read more...

Submitted by
Black and White

We want to imitate the whites in everything because we are ignorant of our inherent originality and content. We spend all our Naira to acquire his inventions because we so oblivious of our natural endowments that we allow him have it for free. Read more...

Submitted by
Nate Nat
Adamawa State University Mubi: A ...

ADSU integrity forum has accused the Sunday Joshua Wugira, a lawyer, of adopting unorthodox tactics by abusing his privilege by attacking the integrity of ADSU Vice Chancellor Dr. Moses Zira Zaruwa, writes a News24 reader. Read more...

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
My Country Nigeria (Part One)

Poetry by Abdulsalam Jubril.

Submitted by
Abdulsalam Jubril
Recession, dearth in leadership a...

Every leader has the opportunity to become great and making himself immortal in the lives and hearts of people for generations to come. Will Mr. President seize this opportunity?, questions Abdulsalam Jubril. Read more...