Should France grant Edward Snowden asylum?
In an interview with a French radio station Edward Snowden, the whistleblower who has been living in Russian exile since 2013, has said he would like France to grant him political asylum. The former CIA employee is wanted in the US for espionage and other crimes. French commentators plead his case.
Don't leave the field to Putin
Paris should grant Snowden's request for asylum, Le Monde advises:
“The whistleblower's fate should not make us forget that authoritarian countries like Russia and China are the first to use the Internet as a tool for repressing their citizens. Precisely for that reason the Western democracies must not leave it to Vladimir Putin to cast himself as the protector of the freedom fighter Edward Snowden. By granting Snowden asylum Emmanuel Macron would be able to give substance to his statements about human rights and France's uniqueness in the world.”
An unexpected gift for France
Snowden's request is a terrific opportunity for France, economist Yannick Chatelain writes in a text in Contrepoints addressed to the entire country:
“The whistleblower has given you an unhoped-for gift: the ability to once again make your voice heard, a powerful, unique voice that has always contributed to your influence and that now more than ever must be accompanied by deeds to gain respect. ... You are the homeland of human rights, and that's something! This confers you a certain status now that you have become a point of reference on the international stage and wish to remain it. ... However, dear France, such a status requires a service in return! It demands tenacity! Do you still have the courage, the strength, and the greatness for that?”