@Snowden / Twitter

After some 28 months of being holed up in Moscow, Edward Snowden has caught the mother of all breaks. In a change of fortune that the former N.S.A. contractor-turned-whistleblower hailed as “extraordinary,” the European Parliament voted Thursday to call on E.U. countries to prevent Snowden from being extradited to the U.S. should he land on member states’ terrain.

The Guardian brought word of the E.U.’s gesture and Snowden’s later response:

Edward Snowden on Thursday hailed as “extraordinary” and a “game-changer” a vote in the European parliament calling on member states to prevent his extradition to the US.

The Parliament voted 285-281 to pass a largely symbolic measure, a resolution that called on European Union member states to “drop any criminal charges against Edward Snowden, grant him protection and consequently prevent extradition or rendition by third parties, in recognition of his status as whistleblower and international human rights defender”.

[…] “This is not a blow against the US government, but an open hand extended by friends,” Snowden tweeted. “It is a chance to move forward.”

The US government did not, however, seem to see it that way.

“Our position has not changed,” Ned Price, spokesperson for the National Security Council, said in a statement emailed to the Guardian. “Mr Snowden is accused of leaking classified information and faces felony charges here in the United States. As such, he should be returned to the US as soon as possible, where he will be accorded full due process.”

Chances are, the U.S. government isn’t going to change its stance on Snowden’s status any time soon. But meanwhile, he’ll potentially have more ability to move about freely.

–Posted by Kasia Anderson

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