Snowden seeks asylum in 20 states

In addition to earlier requests to Ecuador and Iceland, WikiLeaks said on Tuesday that its legal adviser in the Edward Snowden matter, Sarah Harrison, personally submitted other requests on behalf of Snowden, the US's National Security Agency (NSA) whistleblower.

"The requests were delivered to an official at the Russian consulate at Sheremetyevo Airport in Moscow late in the evening," a WikiLeaks statement posted online said.

"The documents outline the risks of persecution Mr Snowden faces in the United States and have started to be delivered by the Russian consulate to the relevant embassies in Moscow."

The petitions on Snowden's behalf were made to Austria, Bolivia; Brazil, China, Cuba, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Ireland, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Switzerland and Venezuela, the group added.

Obama bullying
​Snowden on Monday accused US President Barack Obama of "pressuring the leaders" of countries from which he has sought protection.

In his first public announcement since fleeing Hong Kong eight days ago, Snowden accused Obama of having ordered Vice-President Joe Biden to put pressure on leaders of countries where he was seeking asylum.

It also emerged that Snowden had written to Ecuador's President Rafael Correa thanking him for his support in his bid to avoid extradition.

"There are few world leaders who would risk standing for the human rights of an individual against the most powerful government on earth, and the bravery of Ecuador and its people is an example to the world," he wrote in the letter, obtained by Britain's Press Association.

Snowden singled out Fidel Narvaez, the Ecuadorian consul in London, for guaranteeing his protection upon fleeing Hong Kong eight days ago.

"I could never have risked travel without that," said the letter, which was written in Spanish. "Now, as a result, and through the continued support of your government, I remain free and able to publish information that serves the public interest."

Correa has said Biden raised the issue of Snowden in a conversation over the weekend, asking him to reject the fugitive computer analyst's asylum request.

Snowden, in his statement issued from his refuge at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport, said Obama was guilty of "deception" and imposing "the extralegal penalty of exile".– AFP

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