On Sept. 7, four residents of Hong Kong reported to have taken Edward Snowden after he had fled the United States and decided to discuss their experiences.Back in May of 2013, Snowden, a former CIA employee and National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, left his job and flew to Hong Kong, where he leaked classified information from the NSA revealing various global surveillance programs run by both the company and the Five Eyes Intelligence Alliance. The documents were shown to journalists Glenn Greenwald, Laura Poitras, and Ewen MacAskill, who wrote articles about the information for newspapers such as the Washington Post, The Guardian, and The New York Times. After the information was released in June, Snowden claimed international attention and shortly afterwards was charged with a violation against the Espionage Act of 1917 and theft of government property.
Its is known that while he was delivering this information to the journalists in Hong Kong that he was staying at a five-star Mira hotel, and that after he being charged with a violation against the Espionage Act of 1917 and theft of government property, he had fled to Russia where he was granted asylum. However, it had never been clear where he had stayed in between his departure from the hotel and his arrival in Russia while the US was demanding his return, until now.
According to recent reports, Snowden had been been provided housing from various refugee families in Hong Kong, seeing as it was believed that this would be the last place the government would look and that they would be able to understand his situation. One of these people was a Ms. Vanessa Mae Bondalian Rodel, a client of one of Mr. Snowden’s Hong Kong lawyers who had made the arrangements for him to stay here.
“My first impression of his face was that he was scared, very worried,” said Ms. Rodel in a recent interview, and that her guest “was using his computer all day long, all night.”
After staying with Ms. Rodel for a few days, Edward Snowden had spent a night with Mr. Ajith Pushpakumara, who had fled to Hong Kong after being tortured for leaving the army of his native country Sri Lanka, and a few days with Supun Thiliana Kellapatha, who also mentioned seeking protection in Hong Kong after being tortured in Sri Lanka.
Mr. Kellapatha and his wife had described their guest as a tired man that was unfailingly kind, and said that they had no worries about hosting Mr. Snowden when they were asked by his lawyer.