Skip to main content

Sign up for our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values. Direct to your inbox.

Corporate gatekeepers and big tech monopolists are making it more difficult than ever for independent media to survive. Please chip in today.

A sticker calling for asylum for Edward Snowden seen in Berlin. (Photo: Tony Webster/flickr/cc)

EU Parliament Votes for Dropped Charges, Asylum Protection for Snowden

Resolution passed by European Parliament Thursday calls on member states to prevent whistleblower's extradition, rendition

Andrea Germanos

The European Parliament passed a resolution Thursday urging its nations to afford NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden protection.

Passed by a 285 to 281 vote, the resolution calls on EU member states to "drop any criminal charges against Edward Snowden, grant him protection and consequently prevent extradition or rendition by third parties, in recognition of his status as whistle-blower and international human rights defender."

Snowden, who's been residing in Russia since 2013, responded to the resolution on Twitter by calling it a "game-changer":

While the resolution is not binding, Wolfgang Kaleck, Snowden's lawyer in Berlin, told the Daily Dot in an email, "It is an overdue step and we urge the member States to act now to implement the resolution."

U.S.-based digital rights group Fight for the Future welcomed the news as well. Evan Greer, the organization's campaign director, said, "We hope that this resolution leads to a binding agreement in the EU that allows Edward Snowden to move to whichever EU country he wants, and we hope he gets an epic party thrown in his honor when he arrives."

"The battle over mass government surveillance is a decisive moment in the history of humanity, and it’s hard to think of anyone who has done more than Edward Snowden to educate the public about the grave risks that runaway spying programs pose to our basic human rights, the future of the Internet, and freedom of expression," he added.

The World Wide Web Foundation, which advocates for an open Internet and was founded by Web inventor Tim Berners-Lee, called it a "landmark resolution." It added in a statement, "We call on national leaders to publicly commit to respecting the will of the European people and offering Snowden asylum."

Berners-Lee said in a Reddit Ask Me Anything session last year that Snowden "should be protected, and we should have ways of protecting people like him. Because we can try to design perfect systems of government, and they will never be perfect, and when they fail, then the whistleblower may be all that saves society."


Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

We've had enough. The 1% own and operate the corporate media. They are doing everything they can to defend the status quo, squash dissent and protect the wealthy and the powerful. The Common Dreams media model is different. We cover the news that matters to the 99%. Our mission? To inform. To inspire. To ignite change for the common good. How? Nonprofit. Independent. Reader-supported. Free to read. Free to republish. Free to share. With no advertising. No paywalls. No selling of your data. Thousands of small donations fund our newsroom and allow us to continue publishing. Can you chip in? We can't do it without you. Thank you.

After Racist Massacre in Buffalo, Senate GOP Blocks Domestic Terrorism Bill

"There are a lot of MAGA Republicans for whom no amount of gun violence... will ever, ever convince them to take any action," said Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer.

Jake Johnson ·


Ocasio-Cortez Endorses Entire Slate of Democratic Socialists in NY

"As AOC knows," DSA For the Many tweeted, "when we fight together, we win together!"

Brett Wilkins ·


'We Continue to Fail to Protect Our Youngest': Guns Leading Cause of Death in Kids

"These massacres are preventable," said Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley.

Andrea Germanos ·


'Counting Dollars While They Were Counting Bodies': Abbott Attended Fundraiser Hours After Massacre

"The same governor who told Beto O'Rourke this isn't the time for politics took the time to stop at a political fundraiser for himself after he knew... kids had been murdered in a Texas elementary school."

Jake Johnson ·


Bernie Sanders, Lindsey Graham to Kick Off New Debate Series

Sanders, an independent democratic socialist, and Graham, a far-right Trump ally, are set to square off in a televised debate on June 13.

Kenny Stancil ·

Common Dreams Logo