In July, Edward Snowden's Russian visa will expire. The international situation is tense so no one knows exactly when this will happen.
We, academics, philosophers, researchers, writers, journalists, and above all engaged citizens, ask Francois Hollande, French President, Manuel Valls, Prime Minister, and Laurent Fabius, Minister of Foreign Affairs, to welcome Edward Snowden as a political refugee without delay.
France is a country known for human rights and freedom of the press. It has a special obligation to Edward Snowden. The constitution states that "Any person persecuted for his action in favor of liberty has the right to asylum in the territory of the republic."
Edward Snowden's revelations have shown the massive collection of information by the NSA, concerning citizens of the world and beyond the scope of what is necessary in the fight against terrorism or against other geopolitical risks. Whistleblower, Snowden had to inform the general public of these abuses, placing public interest and ethics above concerns of state.
Now in many democratic countries there is an ongoing debate about the legitimacy of surveillance and the need to regulate laws and international agreements. With the advance of new communication technology, this debate is important and urgent.
For all these reasons, it is essential to welcome Edward Snowden in legal way , so that he can defend himself and contribute to the debate on strengthening civil liberties.