Posted November 11, 2020 14:29:07The family of Edward Snowden have described their ordeal, with their son now stranded in Russia as his travel plans were put on hold.
The elder Mr Snowden’s parents, Glenn and Sally, are now in limbo as they try to decide what to do about their son.
Mr Snowden has now applied for asylum in Russia.
“I don’t want to leave this country because I can’t protect my son,” Mr Snowden said in a video message posted on Facebook on Thursday.
He added that he was “very happy” in his new home.
His father said he was told that he had been “sheltered in a safe location”.
Mr Edward Snowden, 26, was detained on Saturday after leaving Hong Kong on his way to Moscow to help Mr Snowden with his work as an independent contractor, the US National Security Agency (NSA) has said.
The former National Security Adviser was arrested after he left Hong Kong with a laptop containing secret documents about NSA surveillance.
Russian authorities said he had “failed to abide” by Russian law when he boarded the plane.
The US has asked Moscow to detain Mr Snowden for up to two weeks.
Since he left the US, Mr Snowden has not been seen by his family or his lawyers, who have asked the Russian government to intervene to protect him.
“He has a very difficult time in Russia,” Mr Edward Snowden told the Guardian newspaper.
“It’s hard to know what’s going on with him.
He’s been put in a very dangerous situation.”
He also said he did not understand why Russia had refused to grant him the rights of a person granted asylum in another country.
Asked why he would need asylum in the first place, Mr Edward said he would “never be able to answer that question”.
He said his family and friends were “just happy” to be living in a new country with a new government and a new leader.
But the Snowden family have described the decision to detain their son as “embarrassing” and “outrageous”.
“We have lost our son,” the elder Mr Edward told the Associated Press news agency.
“[He] would never have done anything like that, especially if he was a US citizen.
We’re very sad about this.”
The elder Edward said that while he believed his son would be released soon, they were now “very concerned about the situation in the United States”.
“The way it’s happening, I think it’s out of our control,” he said.
“We are very worried.
It’s very embarrassing to the family.”
Mr Snowden, who worked for the NSA before leaving the agency in 2013, is wanted by the United Kingdom and Russia for allegedly violating the Espionage Act of 1917, the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act and the US Patriot Act.
It is not clear if he has been granted an extradition request from the United Nations, where he is wanted on charges of spying for Russia.
The Russian foreign ministry said on Thursday that Mr Snowden had been detained and was being questioned by Russian authorities.
The ministry said he should return to the United United States within 72 hours.
Last week, the Russian foreign minister said Moscow had “no plans” to release Mr Snowden.
US officials say Mr Snowden, a former intelligence contractor who is wanted in the US for leaking details of US surveillance programs, fled to Hong Kong in 2013 and was granted asylum there in May this year.
Hong Kong said on Friday it had revoked Mr Snowden the right to travel.
Britain has said it is ready to return Mr Snowden to Hong Kong.
The family said on Facebook that the ordeal has been “hard” and they “really want to find him and see him”.
The eldest Mr Snowden also said that his father had asked that they be given a visa so they could “find out what’s happening” with his case.
In a statement, his lawyer, Benjamin Wittes, said: “My client is absolutely not a flight risk.
He has been fully cooperative with the Russian authorities.”
A spokeswoman for the US State Department said it was “monitoring developments in Russia”.
“The US Embassy in Moscow is aware of the situation and is monitoring it closely,” she said.
Ms Wittes said that Mr Edward had not been given a full explanation of what he was supposed to do, and that his detention was not related to his work with the NSA.
“Edward was not working with the US in any way and was not involved in any intelligence gathering, but was merely assisting a foreign intelligence agency,” she added.
A Russian lawyer for Mr Snowden told CNN he was surprised by the US decision to turn him over to Russia.
“If they have something on him, why turn him?” the lawyer, Anatoly Kucherena, said. “He was