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Some call for Sweden to give Snowden asylum

Published måndag 1 december 2014 kl 15.37
Should Sweden give Snowden asylum?
(2:40 min)
Edward Snowden. Photo: TT
Edward Snowden. Photo: TT

Fugitive US intelligence whistle-blower Edward Snowden is receiving the Right Livelihood Award, sometimes known as the "alternative Nobel Prize" via video link from Russia, but some politicians are wondering if Sweden shouldn't be doing more.

Valter Mutt is the foreign policy spokesman for the Green Party, and he says Sweden should give political asylum to Snowden, even though he stands accused of spying in the United States.

"We should look at him the same as we look at other historical figures like Gandhi or Mandela. It is a real shame for Sweden, the United States and the European Union that only Putin in Russia - not the man with the strongest record of democracy - has given him asylum. Snowden, after all, was the person who blew the whistle on US government monitoring of Orwellian proportions," Mutt said.

Snowden, a former US National Security Agency contractor, now lives in Russia after fleeing the United States via Hong Kong in May, having revealed extensive internet and phone surveillance done all over the world – by US intelligence.

The Social Democrat and former Cabinet Secretary, Pierre Schori, has also said that Sweden should consider giving him asylum.

"I see an historical parallel to when Sweden received the US soldiers who refused to kill during the Vietnam war. Sweden offered temporary asylum on humanitarian grounds. Sweden could do the same thing here for Snowden," said Schori.

Green Party spokesperson Gustav Fridolin would not speak specifically about Snowden, but instead talked about the general process of seeking asylum in Sweden.

"Anyone has the right to asylum, especially if they are at risk of the death penalty, should be able to get it. But I cannot speak specifically of the Snowden case. We have an order in Sweden where asylum cases are not settled in the government but in the courts," he said.

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