Former CDU Secretary General Says Germany “Must Grant Asylum” to Snowden; SPD Parliamentary Vice Chairman Says “Snowden is a Hero”

Fascinating articles in Der Spiegel this past weekend, in praise of Edward Snowden. Via translation, please consider Asylum for Snowden: “Welcome Edward!”

In the debate about a possible offer of asylum in Germany to Edward Snowden, SPIEGEL contacted numerous journalists, actors, politicians and athletes for comments regarding the whistleblower.

In addition to opposition politicians, such as the Left Party leader Gregor Gysi, Snowden gets support from an unlikely source: Former CDU General Secretary Heiner Geissler says Germany “must” grant Snowden asylum.

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Geissler is sad about the deterioration of the transatlantic relationship, but “Snowden has done the Western world a great service, and now it is up to us to help him”

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Even social democratic politicians demand asylum. “Snowden is a hero, not a traitor,” said Axel Schaefer, vice chairman of the SPD parliamentary group. One must closely examine “whether there is a way to offer Snowden asylum in Germany.”

Foreign and defense politician Lars Klingbeil said “Germany must consider whether it is possible to grant asylum Edward Snowden.”

Writer Ferdinand von Schirach praises Snowden in the MIRROR for the breach of its confidentiality obligations, citing a “duty for civil disobedience against the state” when required for justice.

The President of the Bundesliga, Reinhard Rauball, criticized “significant impairment of human rights” by arbitrary monitoring and praises Snowden’s selfless actions.

Moderator Oliver Welke would like to give the Americans the Order of Merit. Musicians Udo Lindenberg said: “I can certainly make clear a room for him – welcome Edward.”

Snowden had in principle agreed to officially testify in Germany – but wants the guarantee not to be transferred to the United States. The US has already submitted an extradition request for all relevant cases to the federal government.

Spiegel Mirror Cover
Issue 45/2013
Asylum for Snowden!
“Those who pronounce the truth, commits no crime”

Asylum Not As Easy As It Sounds

Granting Snowden asylum might be tricky. Not only would it open up a deep rift with the US, it may be a violation of treaty for Germany to grant Snowden asylum.

Reader Bernd points points out …

Mr. Snowden could be asked to come to Germany and safe passage could be guaranteed for the hearing. The law provides for that. However, the law does not provide for a permanent or semi-permanent residency of Mr. Snowden in Germany.

My friend who is one of Germany’s leading immigration and asylum lawyers told me and confirmed it over and over again: German law specifies that political asylum cannot/must not be granted to citizens of countries which are considered law abiding democracies. At this moment the United States is still considered such a country.

By law and by treaties Germany will have to turn him over to the United States Authorities immediately at their request. They only need to guarantee that the death penalty will not be applied in his case – which I believe has already happened.

If German lawmakers are actually considering to bring Snowden into the country, they have no idea of the law.

I stand with those who think Edward Snowden is a patriot and hero, not a traitor. The US should drop all charges against him, and let him return to the US should he desire to come back.

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