Snowden's Asylum Roulette: Russia Out, India and Brazil Say No

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Edward Snowden has reportedly applied for asylum in 21 countries, but hasn't found any takers so far. And his odds are dwindling by the minute.

Russian officials say Snowden withdrew his request for asylum in their country after President Vladimir Putin warned Snowden that he would have to stop harming American interests. He's already lost Ecuador, too, which now says they regret trying to help at all. On Tuesday morning, India flat out said no, adding "we see no reason to accede to the request." The extra 'We're suppposed to be allies with the United States, by the way' was unsaid, but probably implied. And just moments ago, Brazil joined the chorus of negatives, by officially choosing to ignore him.

The Guardian is keeping a handy list of the responses from the rest of the nations that have been contacted, but so far Snowden has come up with zilch. The majority of the requests were sent to the countries in the European Union, and most have either ignored him completely or pointed out that he actually has to make it to their country if he wants to apply. (Which is a polite way of saying "Don't call us, we'll call you.")

Since China basically kicked him out of Hong Kong and the rest of the EU is unlikely to pick a fight with the U.S., that leaves him with only about nine or ten nations that haven't yet told him to forget it. His best bet at the moment looks like Venezuela or Nicaragua. The trick is getting there from Moscow without a valid passport, which as we saw with his aborted Cuba attempt is no easy feat.

You can use this handy map below to follow along at home. Black is a "no," yellow means "no response yet," and green is a "maybe."


This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.