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Snowden In Germany's Der Spiegel

Syuzanna Petrosyan |
November 4, 2013 | 3:47 p.m. PST

Executive Producer

Sunday's cover of Der Spiegel (via Twitter)
Sunday's cover of Der Spiegel (via Twitter)
"Asylum for Snowden!" reads the cover of today's Der Spiegel German news magazine with opinions from leaders across German society.

"I have faced a severe and sustained campaign of persecution that forced me from my family and home," writes Snowden in an open letter titled "A Manifesto for the Truth" in the magazine, in which he calls for continued international action against the worst offenders of global privacy infringement.

"I am heartened by the response to my act of political expression, in both the United States and beyond," he says in the letter, which Der Spiegel says was written Friday in Moscow.

The magazine discusses the idea of providing asylum for Snowden in Germany.

Der Spiegel's report on the meeting between Snowden and the German politician mentions Snowden's offer to come to Germany and offer testimony if it can be safely arranged. Hans-Christian Ströbele, a lawyer and parliamentarian for Germany's Green Party, was the first politician in the world to meet with Snowden in his Moscow exile.

Ströbele would like to bring the American whistleblower to Germany to testify before an investigative committee of the German parliament, and in doing so provide him with a secured right of residence in Germany.

Der Spiegel reports that there are growing calls in Germany not only to question Snowden in connection with the ongoing NSA scandal, but also to offer him safe passage and asylum. Yet, the news magazine writes, Germany fears the wrath of the United States.

Chancellor Merkel's reluctance to anger Washington may prevent her from giving asylum to Snowden despite being furious at NSA's surveillance activities in Germany. Risking trade and other issues between the two countries might not be worth the cost for Merkel.

In an open letter to Germany, Snowden wrote that he is counting on international support to stop Washington's 'persecution' of him for revealing the scale of its worldwide phone and Internet surveillance.

In response to Snowden's manifesto, Senator Dianne Feinstein stated on ABC News, “He was trusted. He stripped our system. He had an opportunity—if what he was, was a whistleblower—to pick up the phone and call the House Intelligence Committee, the Senate Intelligence Committee, and say I have some information…. But that didn’t happen.”

Snowden's leaks about the targets as well as methods of National Security Agency (NSA) have infuriated U.S. allies and placed Washington on the defense. U.S. authorities want him handed over to face espionage charges for illegally disclosing government secrets to journalists such as Glenn Greenwald of The Guardian and filmmaker Laura Poitras.

Snowden, however, argues that calls for reform have proven that his revelations have served a good purpose and have helped to "address formerly concealed abuses of the public trust."

Reach Executive Producer Syuzanna Petrosyan hereFollow her on Twitter.



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