More than 50 high-profile Germans have called for US intelligence whistleblower Edward Snowden to be offered asylum in Germany, a report says. The Guardian reported on Sunday that the public figures called on Berlin to increase its support for Snowden in the latest edition of German magazine Der Spiegel.
According to the report, Heiner Geissler, the former general secretary of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's Christian Democrats, said in the appeal that Snowden “has done the western world a great service. It is now up to us to help him.”Meanwhile, German writer Hans Magnus Enzensberger noted in his contribution that “The American dream is turning into a nightmare.” He also complained that in the UK, which has become “a US colony”, Snowden is considered a traitor. Actor Daniel Bruhl, novelist Daniel Kehlmann, entrepreneur Dirk Rossmann, activist Alice Schwarzer and German football league president Reinhard Rauball were among public figures on the list. Der Spiegel has also published a comment piece written by Snowden, in which the former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor warns of the danger of spy agencies setting the political agenda, the report said. “At the beginning, some of the governments who were exposed by the revelations of mass surveillance initiated an unprecedented smear campaign. They intimidated journalists and criminalized the publication of the truth,” Snowden said. “Today we know that this was a mistake, and that such behavior is not in the public interest. The debate they tried to stop is now taking place all over the world.” Snowden, who was granted political asylum in Russia in August, has been charged in the United States with “espionage” and “theft of government property” after leaking documents that revealed the NSA and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) have been eavesdropping on millions of American and European phone records and the Internet data from major Internet companies such as Facebook, Yahoo, Google, Apple, and Microsoft. MR/HN/AS