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December 18, 2013

Brazil denies Snowden asylum

Brazilian government has 'received no official request'.

By Ben Sullivan

After offering to help Brazil investigate American spying programmes in exchange for being granted asylum in the country, Brazil has responded to Snowden’s request by saying that they are not considering the deal.

In an open letter to the Brazilian people, Snowden said that he was willing to help the Brazilian government but said the US government would prevent him from acting unless he was granted asylum.

"I have expressed my willingness to assist wherever appropriate and lawful, but unfortunately the United States government has worked very hard to limit my ability to do so," the letter said.

However, a Brazilian foreign ministry spokesperson said that the Brazilian government has received no official request from Snowden. Without a formal request, asylum will not be considered.

The former CIA and NSA contractor is currently on a self-imposed exile in Russia where he fled after revealing the extent of America’s spying programme, spearheaded by the NSA.

Among the revelations were the NSA’s phone surveillance programme, the alleged tapping of Google data centres and collaboration with Britain’s GCHQ in spying on citizens.

In the letter published by Folha de São Paulo newspaper, Snowden said many Brazilian senators had "asked me to help with their investigations into suspected crimes against Brazilian citizens."

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Recently, White House spokesman Jay Carney has dismissed the idea that the United States could grant amnesty to Snowden if he were to turn over the documents in his possession.

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