04:46 GMT08 March 2021
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    The recent vote by the EU Parliament to drop criminal charges against NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden was a show of friendship to the US, Snowden said in a public appearance sponsored by the PEN America free speech association.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On October 30, the European Parliament approved a measure to drop any criminal charges against Edward Snowden and grant him protection as a whistleblower and international human rights defender.

    "They are not saying they are going to be anti-American, they are not trying to harm the United States. They are actually doing what I believe is a friendly action and a proper action," Snowden said of the European vote.

    The final vote to protect Snowden from extradition by a third party, like the United States, passed with a narrow margin of 285 to 281.

    Snowden commented that it is "pretty extraordinary to see such a wide, broad body in the Parliament Assembly of the European Union say, look what the United States position on this issue is mistaken."

    Russia has granted Snowden asylum, but US authorities have prevented him on numerous occasions from transferring out of the country.

    In 2013, Snowden leaked a trove of NSA documents to the press, revealing the all-encompassing extent to which the US government spied on its own citizens and carried out foreign espionage without any public knowledge or oversight.

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    Tags:
    whistleblowers, European Union, NSA, Edward Snowden
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