National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden, who apparently remained holed up in a Moscow airport transit lounge Monday night, has chosen an itinerary taking him to sanctuary in nations restricting the very Internet and press freedoms he says he stands for, U.S. officials said.
Criticism rose as Mr. Snowden, who was allowed to leave Hong Kong despite a pending extradition request from the U.S., disappeared from public view in Moscow. He failed to take two seats booked in his name on a Russian AeroFlot flight Monday to Havana, from where he was expected to fly to Quito, the capital of Ecuador.
Mr. Snowden’s supporters denied that he had been interviewed by Chinese authorities, and Russian officials said that, as a transit passenger, he had not entered their country.
China was one of only two nations surveyed that employed all nine categories of Internet censorship that Freedom House cataloged. The other country was Iran.
The legislation, passed by the Ecuadorean National Assembly on June 14, “seriously undermines free speech … [and] includes overly broad language that will limit the free expression of journalists and media outlets,” the group said in a statement last week.
Human Rights Watch Americas Director Jose Miguel Vivanco called the law “yet another effort by President Correa to go after the independent media.”