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Press Release: Courage campaigns for Snowden’s continued protection in Russia

With Edward Snowden’s Russian asylum expiring in one week, Courage campaigns for his continued safety

  • Through Vkontakte (Russia’s “Facebook”) a campaign promoting asylum extension for Snowden was seen by more than 1 million users in Russia last week alone
  • 37 countries already covered by Courage’s #StandWithSnowden campaign
  • More than $90,000 in Bitcoin donations received by Courage in the year since Courage set up Snowden’s defence fund

Edward Snowden was granted a year’s temporary asylum in Russia on 31 July 2013 and he has applied to have this protection extended. Last week alone more than 1 million people in Russia viewed a social network campaign placed and funded by Courage asking Russia to continue to protect Snowden and “show the world what asylum really means”.

As the Russian government is presently involved in a serious diplomatic dispute with the United States and the EU over sanctions, it is important that the Russian government knows it has the support of its domestic population and the international community in a prospective decision to continue to protect Mr Snowden’s asylum rights, despite ongoing opposition by the United States.

Courage’s campaigning for Edward Snowden has also seen individuals from 37 countries submitting photos showing that they “Stand With Snowden”. Courage’s Trustees will soon officially write to leaders in the countries displaying the most support in this campaign to ask for their assistance of Edward Snowden’s future protection. #StandWithSnowden photos can be submitted here, alongside a new map showing the breadth of participation in the campaign worldwide: https://couragefound.org/stand-with-snowden

Courage, the international organisation dedicated to the protection of truthtellers that runs Edward Snowden’s official defence fund, has announced the amount of Bitcoins donated for the legal and public defence of the NSA whistleblower as 154.55027439 BTC. This amounts to more than $93,000 in Bitcoins alone that supporters have donated to his defense fund in the year since the NSA whistleblower was granted temporary asylum in Russia.

“Ensuring Edward Snowden’s safety will be a long battle, fought on legal and public fronts, requiring our continued support,” said Sarah Harrison, Courage’s Acting Director. “Since his defence fund launched in August 2013, we’ve already incurred more than 100,000 dollars in legal costs alone.

“The most important obstacle Edward Snowden faces today, a week before his asylum expires, is to extend his temporary security in Russia. Your donations finance an international legal team working to secure Mr Snowden a safe haven now, in addition to researching the legal threats he faces around the world and negotiating to have him safely testify in the ongoing national surveillance inquiries in the EU and elsewhere. We’re excited to see so many Bitcoin donations going to Mr Snowden’s defence because it shows how many people in the online community understand the full value of his contribution and the importance of keeping him free and able to participate in the debate he began. Snowden’s defence fund will continue to need supporters’ donations until we can be sure he is fully protected.”

In addition to running the official defence fund for Edward Snowden and preparing to do the same for others in the future who risk life or liberty to make significant contributions to the historical record, Courage advocates for the protection of journalists’ sources and the public’s right to receive their information as guaranteed in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Courage originally began in August 2013 as The Journalistic Source Protection Defence Fund and has run Edward Snowden’s defence fund since that time. Courage’s official Edward Snowden support site is located at https://edwardsnowden.com and the related twitter account at @CourageSnowden.

Supporters can send BTC to Snowden’s defense fund at
1snowqQP5VmZgU47i5AWwz9fsgHQg94Fa
and to Courage’s general fund at
1courAa6zrLRM43t8p98baSx6inPxhigc

Courage also accepts major credit cards, PayPal, bank transfer and cheques: https://couragefound.org/donate/

European supporters can donate to the Snowden defence fund tax-free using credit cards, PayPal, bank transfer and cheques via the Wau Holland Foundation: http://www.wauland.de/en/projects/07.html

Read more about donating to Courage, its funding, and its mission at https://couragefound.org/

Below are selected images from Courage’s #StandWithSnowden campaign and Russian Vkontakte campaign:

Courage Trustee and WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange at the Ecuadorian embassy in London
Assange_SWS

Russell Brand, British comedian, actor and author
Brand_SWS

Courage Advisory Board members Daniel Ellsberg (Pentagon Papers whistleblower) and Thomas Drake (NSA whistleblower) with Snowden legal advisor Jesselyn Radack at HOPE X conference
Ellsberg_Radack_Drake_SWS

Graham Linehan, writer of British sitcom The IT Crowd
IT_Crowd_SWS

Dutch MEP Judith Sargentini
Sargentini_SWS

Russian Vkontakte campaign image screenshot
VK-Russia-campaign

Friday 25th July, 12:30pm BST