Snowden Requests Asylum in 21 Countries, but why?

Politics

Edward Snowden, the current most famous whistleblower on this blue pearl drifting along the universe, has requested asylum in 21 countries across the globe. Some Latin-American, like Bolivia, Brazil, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Ecuador. Some are major global, antagonistic to the United States, powers, like China, India and Russia. But, he also requested asylum in certain European Union-member countries: Austria, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Ireland, the Netherlands, and Poland (source).

Why? Some of these requests seem unrealistic. He also requested a safe passage to Iceland, Switzerland, Cuba and Ecuador, countries which are probably much more inclined to agree to harbour the fugitive ‘criminal’. There’s a certain reasoning behind this, and it is actually quite genius.

So far, some politicians, mainly German, have stated that Snowden is a hero. However, these are individual statements by politicians, not by the countries they represent. By requesting asylum, he forces these countries to take an official stance in the matter. Do they grant him asylum and risk antagonizing the United States, or do they deny him asylum, by which they make clear they are on the US’ side.

Furthermore, this could cause a rift within the EU. Even though the EU is supposed to be a uniform power, at least one member half-heartedly admits to be on the US’ side: the United Kingdom. UK-US relations have, since the second world war, been very warm – which is why Snowden didn’t even try to get asylum across the north sea (err, except for Ireland). The UK has also been close to delivering Assange to the US (through Sweden), by which they made clear to honor the wishes of the current hegemon in international politics.

By requesting asylum in Germany, France, the Netherlands, etc., Snowden is trying to make clear the official loyalties of the European Union. Both to the other nation-states, and the citizens within those countries. This has been Snowden’s point from the start: he became a whistleblower because he thought people ought to know what plays behind the curtains. By forcing these countries to take an official stance, he forces these countries to expressly state their loyalties. Is the EU independent from the US, or not?

I wonder what happens if a country within the EU denies him asylum, and another, let’s say Germany, does grant him a safe place to stay. Public opinion of Snowden is fairly positive. There are no official numbers to these claims, but I imagine there’s a great majority in each and every country who supports him and his cause. What if a country, against the wishes of their citizens, denies him asylum. What does Germany do whenever another EU-member denies him asylum?

There are three options to this: (1) None of the EU countries accept his request. The EU is seen as an elaborate joke, only a front for the US and loses all credibility to for instance Russia or China. (2) Some EU-members grant him asylum, others don’t. In this case, a rift forms within the EU, and the inability of its members to form a one-sided opinion is once again proven to major powers like the aforementioned Russia and China, but also the US. The US sees who its friends are, and for which countries to watch out. (3) All countries accept his request. With this option, the EU is seen as a confident power to be reckoned with by defying the US. Russia and China will have to acknowledge the EU as a new player on the international political arena as a contender.

Obviously, for the EU-countries, option 3 seems to be the most desirable outcome. However, it is very much a prisoner’s dilemma, testing the trust within the EU. Once one member-state denies him asylum, you’re back at option 2. Why would one do that, you’d ask? To get in the favour with the US, that’s why.

The Dutch secretary of Safety and Justice, Fred Teeven, has denied him asylum on the grounds that “one can only get a political asylum whenever he makes that request within the borders of the state“. Since Snowden is still in Moscow, the request is denied. A representative of Teeven has stated that, once he can get within the Dutch borders, his request would be re-evaluated (source).

Interesting times though.

 

Tell me what you think of this post;
[Total: 0 Average: 0]

Comments

comments

Previous
So, I got Vine on my Phone.
Next
Workouts Added in the Sidebar; an Explanation.
  • A very interesting view on the subject matter, I hadn’t actually thought about that angle. I would really like the EU to show some balls, but sadly, they’ll probably want to align with America. I don’t think situation 3 is credibly, even though I want it to happen rather badly. Even option 2 I would consider a stretch.

    Then again my faith in politics is generally between rock bottom and 3 miles under the ocean floor.

  • “I wonder what happens if a country within the EU denies him asylum, and another, let’s say Germany, does grant him a safe place to stay. Public opinion of Snowden is fairly positive. There are no official numbers to these claims, but I imagine there’s a great majority in each and every country who supports him and his cause. What if a country, against the wishes of their citizens, denies him asylum. What does Germany do whenever another EU-member denies him asylum?”

    Figures from infratest dimap published yesterday on tagesschau.de show actually there is no majority for granting asylum to Snowdon. (35 for; 58 against)

    see picture 17/19 – http://www.tagesschau.de/multimedia/bilder/crbilderstrecke478.html

Please, tell me why I'm wrong.

Buy My Designs

Only available on

20% of purchase goes to me, the artist (excl. shipping), delivery in ~7 days.

-


Introduction

Hi! I'm Felix, the guy with the giant arrow pointing at him above. I'm Dutch. I like to write, I like to draw, and I like to voice my opinion sometimes. Welcome to my blog, where everything I create is collected. You might know me as FelixR1991 - or you might not. Whatever the case may be, I hope you have great time scrolling through my stuff!

-

Contact

If you want to contact me about anything (be it a question, concern, proposition, or you simply feel lonely), the options below are open to you:

- contact@felixdicit.com
- @FelixDicit
- FelixDicit
- FelixR1991
- /r/FelixDicit

-

Categories

-

Social Media


-

Advertisement