Courage Foundation Acting Director and WikiLeaks Investigations Editor Sarah Harrison sat down with Democracy Now! to talk about her four months with Edward Snowden after escorting him from Hong Kong to Moscow, why she can’t return to the UK, and why we need the Courage Foundation.
Harrison explained why she would go to such lengths to help Snowden:
A few reasons. One’s sort of a general ethical point that someone had done something so brave, and they should be supported, and I felt an empathy, a natural human empathy, and wished to support. Then there’s also the fact that, I mean, I work for a publishing organization. We obviously rely a lot on sources and believe in source protection. And the last example that the world had of how the U.S. government treats a high-value source is Chelsea Manning, who they put into a cage, was tortured, sentenced to prison for 35 years in the end. And I think it’s important for the world that you can speak the truth, you can blow the whistle, and you don’t have to end up in a cage; there are people that will support you, that there are people that will take risks for you, when you have risked so much, and you can have asylum in a country.
Asked about the importance of the Courage Foundation, she said:
[It’s] for Edward Snowden’s defense and also for future Snowdens. We want to show that there is an organization that will do what we did for Snowden and as much as possible in raising money for legal defense, public advocacy for whistleblowers, so that they know when they—if they come forward, there is a support group there for them.
When asked what future Snowdens should do, Harrison advised:
I think that it is important for them to understand that there are people that will support them. I think they should reach out to organizations like the Courage Foundation that can help them—ideally pre-emptively. It would be better if we didn’t have to save someone with their face all over the front pages of every newspaper in the world. And I think that—I think it’s important that they understand that there is a public desire for the truth and that they will hopefully be seen as heroes.
See the full segment and full transcript of the interview here.