MOSCOW, July 31, 2013 – The father of US fugitive Edward Snowden reached out to his son on Russia’s national television Wednesday, telling him he did not mind if the intelligence leaker stays in Russia as long as he is safe.
“Edward, I hope you are watching this. Your family is well. We love you. We hope you are healthy, we hope you are well, I hope to see you soon, but most of all I want you to be safe. I want you to find a safe haven,” Lon Snowden said in an interview broadcast on Rossiya24 channel.
Edward Snowden has been holed up in Sheremetyevo airport outside Moscow since June 23, when he flew in from Hong Kong after leaking information about US surveillance programmes. He is currently awaiting a response to his request for temporary asylum in Russia.
The United States is pressing Russia to hand over the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, who Washington wants to put on trial.
In the interview dubbed into Russian, Lon Snowden said he hoped his son would return home one day.
But he said that events over the past few weeks suggested that there were no guarantees of a fair trial in the United States, and that he therefore agreed with his son’s decision to remain in Russia.