- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 2, 2013

India on Tuesday rejected an asylum request from Edward Snowden, the former defense contractor who is wanted in the U.S. on charges of leaking National Security Agency secrets.

Mr. Snowden, who is holed up in the transit area at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo International Airport, has sent asylum requests to 21 countries, according to the anti-secrecy group WikiLeaks.

The Indian Embassy in Moscow received the asylum request from Mr. Snowden on Tuesday.

“We have carefully examined the request. Following that examination, we have concluded that we see no reason to accede to the request,” said Syed Akbaruddin, a spokesman for India’s Ministry of External Affairs Ministry in New Delhi.

National Security Agency documents leaked by Mr. Snowden revealed that the U.S. was spying on a number of its allies, including India.

Mr. Snowden on Monday withdrew his request for asylum in Russia after President Vladimir Putin said he must stop harming U.S. interests if he wants to stay in his country.

Mr. Snowden on Monday lashed out at the Obama administration for revoking his U.S. passport.

“The Obama administration has now adopted the strategy of using citizenship as a weapon,” Mr. Snowden said in a statement released by WikiLeaks on Monday. “Although I am convicted of nothing, it has unilaterally revoked my passport, leaving me a stateless person.”

• Ashish Kumar Sen can be reached at asen@washingtontimes.com.

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