Canada asked to take in families who sheltered Edward Snowden in Hong Kong

Canada asked to take in Snowden supporters

HONG KONG — Lawyers for three families who sheltered Edward Snowden in Hong Kong say they have formally asked the Canadian government to grant them asylum.

They issued a statement Thursday saying that the families want to move to Canada because they face persecution in Hong Kong.

Snowden fled to Hong Kong to avoid prosecution over the leak of classified material about the U.S. government’s surveillance programs.

A congressional inquiry into the former U.S. National Security Agency contractor concluded that he compromised national security by the leaks.

The families have been publicly quoted as saying they hid Snowden in their apartments for weeks in 2013 before he went to Russia.

Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen’s office did not immediately respond to an email on the matter. 

A statement posted on the website of “For the Refugees,” a group set up to help the families, said it’s critical for Canada to act quickly.

“These families, including three young and stateless children, face persecution in Hong Kong and in their home countries,” the statement said.

“We are encouraged by Prime Minister Trudeau’s commitment in taking a clear lead internationally in welcoming refugees,” Canadian lawyer Marc-Andre Seguin said in the statement.

“It’s up to Canada now to do the right thing,” he said.

The lawyers said they filed refugee claims in January and are calling on Hussen to do what he can to speed up the applications.

Snowden remains in exile in Russia. He has been charged with espionage in the U.S. and could face 30 years in prison.

His lawyer has said he wants to return to the United States, if he could be guaranteed a fair trial.

 

The Canadian Press

Canadian Press

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Okanagan whisky lottery adds new twists

Winners of Okanagan Spirits’ Laird of Fintry lottery announced in four batches beginning Sept. 28

QUIZ: Do you know what’s on TV?

Fall is normally the time when new television shows are released

Fuel Good Day pumps up Okanagan-Shuswap organizations

Thousands raised by annual Armstrong Regional Co-op fundraiser Sept. 15

Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Sept. 27 to Oct. 3

World Farm Animals Day, Drink Beer Day and Virus Appreciation Day are all coming up this week

United Way celebrates seven decades of impact in Southern Interior

Organization sees issues with poverty, mental health and addictions, heighten during the pandemic

B.C. records 98 more COVID-19 cases, most in Lower Mainland

One new senior home outbreak, Surrey Memorial outbreak over

Canadian ski resorts wrestle with pandemic-vs.-profit dilemma as COVID-19 persists

Few are actually restricting the total number of skiers they allow on the hill

Three arrested after Keremeos shooting that severely injured one man

The victim was transported by air ambulance to a regional hospital

Victoria-area RCMP locate high-risk sex offender thanks to help of taxi cab driver

Scott Jones wanted on a Canada-wide warrant, ‘a risk to women and girls,’ police say

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

UPDATE: One dead after motorcycle collision on Highway 97 near Peachland

The collision closed Highway 97 off-and-on throughout Sunday afternoon

A (virtual) walk around the world by 88-year-old B.C. man

George Doi says it’s simple: ‘I like walking’

End of CERB means uncertainty for some, new system for others

As of a week ago, the CERB had paid out $79.3 billion to 8.8 million people

West Kelowna Warriors complete sweep of Vernon Vipers

Warriors edge Snakes 2-1 as Okanagan Cup BCHL exhibition tournament begins

Most Read