2013-07-05 European green parties unite in support of Snowden

The green parties of France, Germany, Norway, Finland, and the UK have united in their support of NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, urging the EU to grant him a safe haven.

The French Europe Écologie Les Verts has demanded that President François Hollande grant Snowden political asylum.

Europe Écologie Les Verts and all its French and European parliamentarians solemnly request the President of the Republic and the government to grant political asylum to a man who not only had the courage to reveal the existence of an illegal surveillance, but has to know the magnitude which extended to the offices of the European Union at the United Nations and Brussels.

In a speech on 28 June, Tom Koenigs of the German Alliance 90/The Greens expressed thanks to Edward Snowden.

Thanks to him, we know how the NSA and GCHQ systematically spy on us with their PRISM and Tempora programmes.

In Germany, we believed that the era of total surveillance was over, and the machinations of Stasi were relegated to the past. But since 6 June 2013, since the day when the Guardian and the Washington Post first reported on PRISM, we know that our informational rights are in danger. The threats are coming not only from rogue states and terrorist groups but also from our allies. These monitoring programmes undermine the liberal order of our democracy. Citizens lose confidence in their governments.

Germany should offer asylum to Edward Snowden. Such an offer would be a commitment to freedom and human rights in the private sphere and on the Internet.

Norway's Miljøpartiet De Grønne petitioned the government to reconsider the earlier decision regarding Snowden's asylum application, and will stand with sister parties in Germany, France, and Finland to welcome Snowden as a hero.

Finland's Vihreät (The Greens) openly welcomed Snowden to their country.

Mr Snowden, Finland has the closest border with Russia and we, the Finnish Greens, welcome you here. The Finnish Green Party leader, Minister Ville Niinistö, in his response to the Young Greens' demands for granting the asylum, deemed it possible. He also stated that the way in which this situation will be globally treated will set the precedent for future debates and practices of data protection and freedom of speech.

Furthermore, both German and French Greens support that you should be granted asulym within the EU - after all, you have done a great service to the European Union, thank you.

Natalie Bennett of the United Kingdom's Green Party has called on the EU's diplomatic leader to act to find US whistleblower Edward Snowden a place of safe asylum.

The UK, and many other European states, have whistleblower legislation that explicitly protects individuals who speak out about wrongdoing, and it is clear that Mr Snowden, were he a national of those states, would be eligible for that protection. Additionally, European states owe him a debt for exposing the action that the US was taking against them.

The United States should be treating Mr Snowden in this manner, but given this seems unlikely, the European Union and individual EU states, as beneficiaries of his revelations, have a responsibility to act in ensuring his security.

The normal requirement for someone being in the country in which they are requesting asylum should clearly be waived in this case. Mr Snowden should be given a chance to peacefully and safely reveal further information, and to rebuild his life in a safe haven, whether in Europe or outside it.