Fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden hit back at the Hong Kong government Thursday for rejecting the protection bids of a group of refugees who sheltered him while he was hiding out in the city.
The impoverished Philippine and Sri Lankan refugees helped the former National Security Agency contractor evade authorities in 2013 by hiding him in their cramped homes after he initiated one of the largest data leaks in US history.
They have spent years hoping the Hong Kong government would recognise their cases and save them from being sent back to their home countries where they say they were persecuted.
But the family of four, a mother and her daughter and a single man saw their protection claims rejected Monday by the city’s immigration authorities, which said there were “no substantial grounds” for believing they would be at risk if they went home. They now face deportation.
“These are good people that were driven from their homes by torture, rape, abuse, blackmail and war, circumstances that are really difficult for us to imagine,” Snowden said in a video released Thursday.—APP