Politics, Business & Culture in the Americas

Brazil Won’t Grant Snowden Asylum



The Brazilian government announced that it is not considering granting asylum to Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor who is best known for leaking classified NSA documents.

The announcement comes after Snowden sent an “open letter to the people of Brazil” in which he offered to help conduct a Congressional probe into the NSA spying scandal. Brazil was outraged when details emerged that the U.S. was spying on Brazilian citizens, as well as Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff and the national oil giant Petrobras.

Snowden’s letter, which was posted online and published by the Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo on Tuesday, did not qualify as an official request, a Brazilian government spokesman said.

A previous request for asylum, which was sent by Amnesty International on Snowden’s behalf in July, also went unanswered by the Brazilian government. Brazilian authorities said they would not respond to a “generic letter.” Snowden is currently living in Russia under temporary asylum set to expire in August.

Despite the national outrage that Foreign Minister Luiz Alberto Figueiredo called “an inadmissible and unacceptable violation of Brazilian sovereignty,” and Rousseff’s cancellation of a state visit to the U.S. over the spying allegations, Brazilian local media later revealed that the Agência Brasileira de Inteligência (Brazilian Intelligence Agency—ABIN) had also spied on diplomatic allies, including the United States.

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