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Human rights lawyer Robert Tibbo spoke at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club on Wednesday about how he advised whistleblower Edward Snowden after he left the United States for Hong Kong in May 2013.

In Hong Kong, Snowden leaked National Security Agency programmes to journalists while harboured by Sri Lankan asylum seekers.

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Edward Snowden. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

Tibbo explained that raising an asylum claim for Snowden with the Hong Kong government was not an option, so Snowden eventually left for Moscow in June. He added that Snowden would have faced torture if extradited back to the United States.

The Sri Lankan families who harboured him later said that their country’s authorities had sent people to the city to seek them out – they filed asylum claims with the Canadian government.

Elson Tong is a graduate of international relations and former investigations consultant. He has also written for Stand News.