Following the dramatic self-revelatory interview/profiling of Edward Snowden by the Guardian's Glenn Greenwald, the media world, and everyone else, has been abuzz about what other revelations the NSA whistleblower may bring to light. Moments ago, the South China Morning Post releases the much anticipated second interview with the 29 year old. While hardly earth-shattering, it does provide some additional insight into the mind of the administration's current persona most non grata.
From South China Morning Post:
Snowden said last night that he had no doubts about his choice of Hong Kong.
“People who think I made a mistake in picking Hong Kong as a location misunderstand my intentions. I am not here to hide from justice; I am here to reveal criminality,” Snowden said in an exclusive interview with the South China Morning Post.
“I have had many opportunities to flee HK, but I would rather stay and fight the United States government in the courts, because I have faith in Hong Kong’s rule of law,” he added.
Snowden says he has committed no crimes in Hong Kong and has “been given no reason to doubt [Hong Kong’s legal] system”.
“My intention is to ask the courts and people of Hong Kong to decide my fate,” he said.
Beijing will seek to interfere in a likely extradition case.
The Hong Kong government has so far refused to comment on Snowden’s case. While many Hong Kong lawmakers, legal experts, activisits and members of the public have called on the city’s courts to protect Snowden’s rights, others such as Beijing loyalist lawmaker and former security chief Regina Ip Lau Suk-yee said he should leave.
Hong Kong Human Rights Monitor director Law Yuk-kai said he was surprised by Snowden’s choice, adding: “Snowden’s positive view of Hong Kong no longer matches the reality.”
Law said a possible reason for his choice could be Hong Kong’s role as the region’s news hub.
“Hong Kong remains a hub of the global media, not least because of its proximity to the economic boom in southern China and the ease of access to many other Asian cities. The publicity could complicate efforts by the United States to charge Snowden and have him deported,” he said.
Snowden said yesterday that he felt safe in the city.
“As long as I am assured a free and fair trial, and asked to appear, that seems reasonable,” he said.
He says he plans to stay in Hong Kong until he is “asked to leave”.
The United States has not yet filed an application for extradition.
Snowden could choose to fight any extradition attempt in court. Another option open to him is to seek refugee status from the office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Hong Kong.
Local activists plan to take to the streets on Saturday in support of Snowden. Groups including the Civil Human Rights Front and international human rights groups will march from Chater Gardens in Central to the US consulate on Garden Road, starting at 3pm.
The march is being organised by In-media, a website supporting freelance journalists.
“We call on Hong Kong to respect international legal standards and procedures relating to the protection of Snowden; we condemn the US government for violating our rights and privacy; and we call on the US not to prosecute Snowden,” the group said in a statement.