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Snowden says 'protecting whistleblowers not hostile act' as he seeks asylum in France

Edward Snowden, who leaked classified documents detailing US government surveillance programmes to the Guardian, is calling on French President Emmanuel Macron to grant him asylum.

The former US National Security Agency contractor, now living in Russia to avoid prosecution in the US, said in an interview broadcast on France’s Inter radio today that “protecting whistleblowers is not a hostile act”.

Snowden said he feels entitled to get protected status in France, having unsuccessfully applied for asylum in the country in 2013 when Francois Hollande was president.

He has also sought asylum in several other countries.

Snowden’s memoir, telling his life story in detail for the first time, will be released Tuesday in about 20 countries, including France.

The French presidency did not comment.

Snowden took part in a round table on the protection of whistleblowers at the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, France, yesterday, appearing via video link (pictured).

Picture: Reuters/Vincent Kessler

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