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Snowden fears 'death penalty' in the US

02 July 2013, 16:42

Warsaw - Fugitive US intelligence analyst Edward Snowden told Poland in an asylum request that he risks the death penalty at home, after he disclosed Washington's alleged violations of the US constitution and global treaties.

Holed up in the transit zone at a Moscow airport for 10 days since fleeing Hong Kong, the 30-year-old is seeking asylum in 20 countries.

Pointing to the ongoing US trial of WikiLeaks informant Bradley Manning, Snowden said "it is unlikely that I would receive a fair trial of proper treatment prior to trial, and face the possibility of life in prison or even death."

Snowden made the claim in a fax bearing his signature to Poland's embassy in Moscow. Dated 30 June, the Polish foreign ministry made it public on Tuesday.

"No asylum request meeting all formal conditions has arrived. And even if it did, I wouldn't give it a positive recommendation," Polish Foreign Minister Radoslaw Sikorski tweeted on Tuesday, ruling the fax as insufficient documentation for an asylum claim.

The United States has issued a warrant for his arrest and revoked his passport.

Fear of repercussions

Snowden said in the fax that he made the request "because of the risk of being persecuted by the government of the United States and its agents".

He said he feared repercussions over his "decision to make public serious violations" by the US government of its constitution and UN treaties.

"As a result of my political opinions, and my desire to exercise my freedom of speech, through which I've shown that the government of the United States is intercepting the majority of communications in the world, the government of the United States has publicly announced a criminal investigation against me."

WikiLeaks said on Monday it made asylum petitions on Snowden's behalf to 20 countries including EU members France and Germany.

A weekend report in German weekly Der Spiegel detailed alleged covert surveillance by the US National Security Agency (NSA) of EU diplomatic missions in the United States and in Brussels, prompting EU leaders to demand an explanation from Washington.



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