Human Rights Organisations demand presidential pardon for Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden
Edward Snowden

Two of the most prominent human rights organisations in the United States are about to launch a campaign for the presidential pardon of Edward Snowden.

The American Civil Liberties Union and Amnesty International are ready to launch the "Pardon Snowden" campaign.

They are urging President Barack Obama to act before he leaves office in January 2017.

The launch this week coincides with the release of an Oliver Stone biopic about the former NSA contractor.

The campaign group has created a website,, though its content remains behind a password-protected login. The campaign has also registered social media accounts in preparation for the launch.
Mr Snowden, who is living in exile in Russia, is expected to speak by video link at the launch.

But on Monday the White House reiterated President Obama's position that Mr Snowden should face charges in the US because his leaks "damaged the United States".

Mr Snowden would be "treated fairly and consistent with the law" if he returned to the US, said White House spokesman Josh Earnest.

'No chance'

Amnesty International, one of the supporters of the new campaign, has repeatedly backed Mr Snowden since he released details of mass phone and internet surveillance by his former employer, the NSA.

They have said that no-one should be prosecuted for exposing human rights violations, which, they claimed, is what "indiscriminate mass surveillance of communications" amounts to.

The ACLU acts as Snowden's legal adviser, and has called him "a great American who deserves clemency for his patriotic acts".