Edward Snowden has performed a service to democracy and should be protected from official retaliation

Brussels, 17th July 2013. Yesterday, NUJ Brussels voted to call upon the European Parliament to uphold the EU’s position as the home of democracy by offering protection and/or unhindered travel to whistleblower Edward Snowden.

The text below is being sent to the President and the main political groups. The branch makes this call in the knowledge that the European Parliament has just launched an investigation into US government spying, and believe this investigation should extend to protecting the one person who put his life and career on the line to bring it to international attention.


Brussels, 16th July 2013. The Brussels branch of the National Union of Journalists (NUJ Brussels) believes that whistleblowers who act in the public interest should be protected from retaliation, and calls upon the European Parliament to ensure that the EU continues to stand for democracy and the rule of law as against intimidation and persecution from the less accountable government agencies.

We condemn the efforts of the US and some European government agencies to ensnare Edward Snowden, knowing that he will face a show trial, solitary confinement and charges that could potentially carry the death penalty.

Intimidation and persecution of whistleblowers go against everything the European Convention on Human Rights stands for, and the deliberate targeting of Mr Snowden makes a mockery of those principles.

NUJ Brussels believes that Snowden has acted in the public interest to reveal the extraordinary extent to which the US and other governments pry into the lives of citizens. The ruthless persecution of such whistleblowers kills investigative journalism, undermines open and transparent government and erodes public trust in the authorities.

NUJ Brussels calls on the European Parliament to:

  • Uphold the principles enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights, in particular the rights to freedom of expression and information, and the right to privacy.
  • Uphold the principles on the protection of whistleblowers adopted by The Legal Affairs and Human Rights Committee of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, especially with regard to Edward Snowden.
  • Support Snowden’s right to political asylum in the countries of the European Union, and his right to travel unhindered through EU airspace.


23/09/2013. No reply to date from the European Parliament! Resent to the rapporteur of the Parliament’s Civil Liberties Committee (LIBE) – receipt confirmed.

02/10/2013. COE call for protection of ‘whistleblowers’ who reveal state wrongdoing http://www.assembly.coe.int/nw/xml/News/News-View-EN.asp?newsid=4669&lang=2&cat=8

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