Snowden has no grounds to apply for Russian citizenship – Russian human rights activist

Edward Snowden file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW. July 17, 2013) Former CIA employee Edward Snowden has no right to submit documents for Russian citizenship, Civil Assistance human rights committee head Svetlana Gannushkina told Interfax on Wednesday.

Lawyer Anatoly Kucherena, who is helping Snowden, said on Wednesday that Snowden did not exclude applying for Russian citizenship.

“As of today, Snowden has no right to submit documents for Russian citizenship. He does have the status, which would grant him this right,” Gannushkina said.

“Snowden was not born in Russia and he does not have relatives here. He is not even asking for refugee status, which could give him the right for a simplified procedure to apply for citizenship,” Gannushkina, who is involved in helping refugees, said.

Russia’s oldest human rights activist and head of the Moscow Helsinki Group Lyudmila Alexeyeva said she was certain it was necessary to grant temporary asylum to Snowden.

“It is necessary to grant asylum to him. As to the citizenship question, it is not I who should decide to whom to grant citizenship,” Alexeyeva told Interfax on Wednesday.

Snowden filed a request for temporary asylum with the Russian Federal Migration Service on July 16.