MOSCOW, July 12 (Itar-Tass) - Fugitive former CIA technical analyst Edward Joseph Snowden, who is awaiting replies to his queries for political asylum from several countries, issued a message Thursday night to rights activists and lawyers, asking them to arrive at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport at around 16:30 Friday for a meeting with him.
The receipt of the message was confirmed by the acclaimed lawyer Genri Reznik, who said that, to the best of his knowledg a number of other individuals and organizations had received it, too.
The text of Snowden’s original message reads the following:
“I have been extremely fortunate to enjoy and accept many offers of support
and asylum from brave countries around the world. These nations have my
gratitude, and I hope to travel to each of them to extend my personal
thanks to their people and leaders.
“By refusing to compromise their principles in the face of intimidation, they have earned the respect of the world.
“Unfortunately, in recent weeks we have witnessed an unlawful campaign by officials in the U.S. Government to deny my right to seek and enjoy this asylum under Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The scale of threatening behavior is without precedent: never before in history have states conspired to force to the ground a sovereign President's plane to effect a search for a political refugee.
“This dangerous escalation represents a threat not just to the dignity of Latin America or my own personal security, but to the basic right shared by every living person to live free from persecution.
“I invite the Human Rights organizations and other respected individuals addressed to join me on 12 July at 5:00PM at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow for a brief statement and discussion regarding the next steps forward in my situation. Your cooperation and support will be greatly appreciated in this matter.”
Snowden also added in his message that “security will likely be tight at this meeting” and “a maximum of three people are able to attend from each organization.”