UNHCR should address Snowden affair – Russian Human Rights Council head

Edward Snowden file photo

(Interfax – MOSCOW, July 10, 2013) The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees’ (UNHCR) intervention would be the best way to break the deadlock in which former U.S. intelligence leaker Edward Snowden has found himself after being stuck at the transit area of Moscow’s Sheremetyevo Airport, Russian presidential Human Rights Council Chairman Mikhail Fedotov told Interfax on Wednesday.

“The UNHCR’s intervention would be the best solution. [Snowden’s] fate should be addressed by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and he has an office in Russia. There are relevant international conventions, and it is necessary to act within the framework of this mechanism,” he said.

Fedotov suggested that Russia should not grant Snowden political asylum. “He has dropped this idea himself,” he said.

Federal Migration Service chief Konstantin Romodanovsky suggested in an interview with Interfax last week that the UNHCR should address the Snowden case.

Russian Human Rights Commissioner Vladimir Lukin said on Tuesday that he had passed his proposals regarding Snowden to relevant agencies.

“Snowden’s fate should be addressed by other organizations, and I believe they are dealing with the matter. I had some ideas regarding Snowden, and I shared them with competent agencies,” Lukin told Interfax on Tuesday.

He refrained from disclosing details, saying that “the matter is not over yet.”