Edward Snowden could strain to qualify for asylum under international law

June 10, 2013 6:00 PM

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Edward Snowden, the 29-year-old who says he’s a former undercover CIA employee and who claimed responsibility for the recent leaks to the media about several secret NSA programs, told The Washington Post that he plans to seek “asylum from any countries that believe in free speech and oppose the victimization of global privacy.” He’s currently in Hong Kong and has mentioned Iceland as a potential haven.

The good news for Snowden is that, if he does secure asylum status somewhere, that would protect him from being extradited. The bad news is that it’s possible that he may not actually meet benchmark legal requirements for asylum, as defined under international law, and may in fact be disqualified by...

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