Snowden flees to country that does not permit freedom of press
Tim Stanley, Telegraph:
What a dizzying 24 hours Edward Snowden has had. After fleeing Hong Kong (the place he first fled to), he was revealed to be in the airspace above Russia with a WikiLeaks advisor (this woman) headed to Moscow. Now Snowden has requested asylum in Ecuador, according to that country's foreign minister.It demonstrates just how hypocritical both Snowden and Ecuador are. If he had released state secrets there he would not be offered asylum. By selecting Ecuador, he loses all credibility.
WikiLeaks describes Snowden’s final destination as “a democratic country” and, yes, Ecuador basically is (more or less). But it just recently passed a bill restraining press freedom that really ought not to appeal to a whistle-blower. According to Human Rights Watch, the bill has three worrying components. A) It prohibits so-called “media lynching”, and allows the state to compel the guilty to say sorry and face legal proceedings. B) It claims to encourage the press to self-regulate but actually empowers the government to impose sanctions on wrong-doers. C) Most importantly, the bill asserts that it is a crime for a journalist to undermine “the security of the State”. Just like Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden are accused of doing. So Snowden, the whistle-blower, is relocating to a country that is turning against the culture of whistle-blowing. Of course, it's also a country that's given refuge (in its London embassy) to Julian Assange – himself fleeing allegations of rape.