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MEPs reassert call for asylum for Edward Snowden following appointment of new CIA chief
20.2.17
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At the end of January the US Senate confirmed Mike Pompeo the new as Director of the CIA. Pompeo has said that Edward Snowden should be executed for being a "traitor". His appointment as CIA Director led a group of four MEPs to ask the Council of the EU what steps it will take to "urge" Member States to meet with October 2015 demands from the parliament for Edward Snowden to be given international protection and protected from extradition or rendition "in recognition of his status as whistleblower and international human rights defender."

The written question to the Council was tabled on 8 February by Barbara Spinelli (from the left GUE/NGL group) , Claude Moraes and Ana Gomes (from the Socialists & Democrats or S&D group) and Jan Philipp Albrecht (from the Greens/European Free Alliance group) and says:

"On 24 January 2017, Mike Pompeo, Donald Trump’s candidate for Director of the CIA, was sworn in by the US Senate. In February 2016 the former congressman had called for ‘the traitor Edward Snowden’ to be executed. Donald Trump had expressed similar remarks in 2013, referring to Snowden as a ‘terrible threat’ and ‘terrible traitor’ and pointing out that there was a time when countries would execute those considered traitors.

Parliament’s resolution of 29 October 2015 on the follow-up to its resolution of 12 March 2014 on the electronic mass surveillance of EU citizens called on EU Member States to ‘drop any criminal charges against Edward Snowden, grant him protection and consequently prevent extradition or rendition by third parties, in recognition of his status as whistleblower and international human rights defender’. The activities of Mr Snowden have greatly helped US and European citizens to finally gain access to transparent information — a core element of democracy.

Given the gravity of the statements emanating from the USA and the worsening political climate surrounding the Snowden case, what steps will the Council of Ministers take in order to urge its members to respond to the recommendations enshrined in Parliament’s resolution of 29 October 2015?"

See: Question for written answer P-000905-17 (EP, link)

It is likely to be several weeks, if not months, before the Council responds.

The wide-ranging October 2015 resolution covered Snowden's personal situation, the law and policies of the EU and its Member States regarding surveillance and intelligence-gathering, relations between the EU and the USA, and recommendations regarding IT infrastructure and software.

See: European Parliament resolution of 29 October 2015 on the follow-up to the European Parliament resolution of 12 March 2014 on the electronic mass surveillance of EU citizens (2015/2635(RSP)) (pdf)

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