Interfax: Assange, Manning, Snowden are new dissidents – Pushkov

Alexei Pushkov file photo

(Interfax -MOSCOW. June 26, 2013) Alexei Pushkov, the head of the State Duma committee on international affairs, considers former CIA official Edward Snowden, who is wanted by the U.S. authorities, a dissident.

“Assange, Manning and Snowden were not spies and released secret information because of their convictions, not for money. They are new dissidents, fighters against the system,” Pushkov said on Twitter on Wednesday.

Julian Assange, the founder WikiLeaks, has been hiding on the territory of the embassy of Ecuador in London for over a year. U.S. Private Bradley Manning was arrested in May 2010 on suspicion of having provided to WikiLeaks a scandalous video of an attack on Reuters journalists from a helicopter, which occurred near Bagdad in 2007

Snowden, who provided to the press information on secret surveillance programs of the U.S. special services, earlier asked for political asylum in Ecuador.

Snowden left the U.S. for Hong Kong in May and arrived in Moscow last Sunday.

Russian President Vladimir Putin says Snowden remains in the transit zone of the Moscow Sheremetyevo airport.

The U.S. demands that Russia extradite Snowden. The Russian authorities allege that he has not crossed the Russian border and therefore is not on the territory of Russia.