Russia extends Snowden residency by three years

File photo: Edward Snowden, 11 October 2013 Little is known about Mr Snowden's activities in Russia

Related Stories

Russia has granted fugitive US whistleblower Edward Snowden permission to stay three more years with the right to travel abroad, his lawyer says.

His year-long leave to stay in Russia had expired on 31 July.

Mr Snowden fled the US in 2013 after leaking details of the National Security Agency's surveillance and telephone-tapping operations.

The US has charged him with theft of government property and communicating classified information.

Mr Snowden's lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, told journalists that the request for an extension had been accepted.

"Accordingly, Edward Snowden was given a three-year residence permit," which will allow him to move about freely and travel abroad, Mr Kucherena said.

'Man up'

The former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor has been hailed by privacy activists for revealing the extent of the NSA's surveillance operations and details of alleged US spying on foreign leaders, including US allies.

The US Congress has since attempted to impose restrictions on the NSA's electronic surveillance activities.

However, US leaders have accused Mr Snowden of damaging national interests and harming the country's security.

A man holds up a placard featuring US intelligence leaker Edward Snowden during a protest march near Darmstadt, central Germany 26 July 2014 Mr Snowden's supporters say he has acted in the public interest by revealing the extent of NSA surveillance

In May, Secretary of State John Kerry said Mr Snowden was a fugitive from justice who should "man up" and return home.

Mr Snowden had fled the US via Hong Kong in May 2013.

He remained in a transit zone in Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport for more than a month after the US revoked his travel documents, before being granted temporary asylum in Russia in August 2013.

Russia's decision to shelter Mr Snowden was strongly criticised by the US.

Little is known about his activities in Russia, although his lawyer says he is working as an "IT specialist" and as a rights defender.

Mr Kucherena stressed on Thursday that Mr Snowden had not been granted asylum, but "temporary leave to remain on the territory of Russia," Interfax news agency reports.

"In the future Edward will have to decide whether to continue to live in Russia and become a citizen or to return to the United States," he said.

More on This Story

Related Stories

More Europe stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • Martin Gardner as a young manThink hard

    Was this man the world's greatest puzzle master?


  • Carved pumpkinTrick or treat

    What did a riot at a pumpkin festival show about race in US?


  • A woman puts on a surgical mask during hospital Ebola training in Alabama.'Dark continent'

    Is prejudice fuelling Ebola outbreak hysteria in the US?


  • Oscar de la Renta and Oprah WinfreyIn pictures

    The life and work of Oscar de la Renta


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • FutureThe future is now

    Get the latest updates and biggest ideas from BBC Future’s World-Changing Ideas Summit

Programmes

  • Smart glassesClick Watch

    Smart spectacles go into battle – the prototypes looking to take on Google Glass

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.