- The Washington Times - Thursday, October 29, 2015

The European Parliament took the side of Edward Snowden in his dispute with the U.S. government over his leaking top-secret National Security Agency documents.

In its non-binding vote, the European Parliament called on its member states to protect Edward Snowden from extradition and drop any criminal charges of their own.

According to CNN, the resolution justifies this call as a “recognition of his status as whistle-blower and international human rights defender.”

While the 285-281 vote is purely symbolic, Snowden — who fled the U.S. in 2013 and was given asylum in Russia — called it a “game-changer” over Twitter.

“This is not a blow against the U.S. Government, but an open hand extended by friends. It is a chance to move forward,” he wrote.

Snowden has been charged with three felonies, including violations of the Espionage Act. He has said he’s willing to go to prison in the U.S. as part of a deal negotiated in advance while he is under the Kremlin’s protection, but American officials have said he must surrender for prosecution unconditionally.

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