15:33 GMT +323 October 2019
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    Edward Snowden

    French Lawmakers Urge Political Asylum for Snowden Amid NSA Spy Scandal

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    Several French lawmakers urged the authorities to grant political asylum to former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden following revelations that the NSA spied on French leaders.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – On Tuesday, WikiLeaks began publishing documents, leaked by Snowden, pertaining to NSA's interception of communications of the last three French presidents, including the incumbent Francois Hollande.

    Jean-Luc Melenchon, French member of the European Parliament said that, in light of recent revelations, Paris should review the controversial free trade agreement currently being negotiated with Washington, and grant asylum to whistleblowers who provided documents to Wikileaks.

    Snowden is wanted in the United States on espionage and government property theft charges. He has been residing in Russia since 2013 under temporary asylum.

    Another French lawmaker, Yannick Jadot, put forward similar proposals in a statement issued on Wednesday.

    "Despite their protest speeches, European leaders have so far done nothing," the lawmaker said in a press statement, urging Paris to stop negotiating with Washington on the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and grant asylum to Snowden.

    Meanwhile, a petition on change.org website calling for asylum for Snowden has collected almost 170,000 votes toward the necessary 200,000.

    Over the past years, documents published by Snowden have revealed US surveillance practices on many world leaders, as well as on millions of American citizens — without a court warrant.

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    asylum, WikiLeaks, National Security Agency (NSA), Jean-Luc Melenchon, Edward Snowden
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