The next chapter in the Snowden saga
In his final moments on US soil, Edward Snowden knew only uncertainty awaited him as he journeyed to catch his flight from Hawaii to Hong Kong.
Uncertainty in whether he’d make it to his planned destination without being intercepted, uncertainty of the reaction his disclosures on the NSA, and the privacy breaches they were conducting would spark. Most poignant and everlasting, however, was the uncertainty if he would ever step foot onto his homeland again, to share a dinner with his parents, or revisit a place locked into his childhood memories.
On Thursday, the European Parliament voted for EU states to drop criminal charges against Snowden, granting him the protection of extradition as a human rights defender. Although unlikely to change his situation anywhere in the near future, it is recognition of the former NSA contractor that is a promising step towards future freedom.
Since he joined twitter last month he’s been able to share his feelings on it with the world, saying:
“This is not a blow against the US Government, but an open hand extended by friends. It is a chance to move forward.”
Once Snowden had shared his story with the world, it was then a question of who will give him a home. He probably never would have guessed that he would settle into Moscow for over two years after Russia granted him asylum. The support he has gained from figures around the world has been well noted, with countless awards honoured to him.
It’s also significant that Snowden is described as a whistleblower, a title many have denied him.