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This article was published on July 2, 2013

    Wikileaks: Snowden seeks asylum in 19 countries [Update: Russia request withdrawn, Poland/India say no]

    Wikileaks: Snowden seeks asylum in 19 countries [Update: Russia request withdrawn, Poland/India say no] Image by: Handout
    Jon Russell
    Story by

    Jon Russell

    Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on T Jon Russell was Asia Editor for The Next Web from 2011 to 2014. Originally from the UK, he lives in Bangkok, Thailand. You can find him on Twitter, Angel List, LinkedIn.

    Russian officials revealed on Monday that Edward Snowden was planning to apply for asylum in 15 different countries. Now Wikileaks, the organization that is assisting the 29-year-old NSA whistleblower, has confirmed applications were sent to 19 countries: including Russia — where Snowden is currently based — Brazil, India, Germany and — most controversially — China.

    Snowden was known to have made applications for asylum in Ecuador and Ireland, while his Russian paperwork was submitted late Monday evening, according to Wikileaks.

    Update: Reuters reports that Poland will not grant asylum to Snowden, while India is also said to have refused. And the BBC is reporting that the request to Russia has been withdrawn.

    Just yesterday, the leader of Germany’s Green Party suggested Snowden should get a safe haven in Europe, after claiming that his NSA leaks have led the country’s once pro-Obama people to lose faith in the US President. It seems unlikely, though, whether a country with the global significance of Germany would step in to aid Snowden and deal a hefty blow to the US.

    China is an interesting choice that is unlikely to be successful due to the controversies that surrounded Snowden’s time in Hong Kong, when he revealed a number of espionage allegations, including programs that hack Chinese mobile operators. Beijing was believed to have had input into Hong Kong’s decision to release Snowden, despite the US beginning the extradition process, and China would create a political fireball if it granted Snowden asylum.

    The full 19 countries that Snowden, who had his passport revoked by the US government last week, has applied to are below. Of course, there are no guarantees that any will take him in, but it is interesting to see so many European countries on the list:

    • Austria
    • Bolivia
    • Brazil
    • China
    • Cuba
    • Finland
    • France
    • Germany
    • India
    • Italy
    • Ireland
    • The Netherlands
    • Nicaragua
    • Norway
    • Poland
    • Russia
    • Spain
    • Switzerland
    • Venezuela

    Note: Our initial articles said Snowden applied for asylum in 15 countries, but the correct number is 19. Apologies for any confusion.

    Headline image via Getty Images