UN Human Rights Commissioner Says Snowden Shouldn't Face A Trial

from the disclosing-human-rights-violations dept

We just noted that the UN has made it clear that mass surveillance and broad data retention likely violates international law. Given that, perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise to hear that UN human rights commissioner Navi Pillay has said that Ed Snowden should not face a trial, since he was revealing human rights violations:

“Those who disclose human rights violations should be protected: we need them,” Pillay told a news conference.

“I see some of it here in the case of Snowden, because his revelations go to the core of what we are saying about the need for transparency, the need for consultation,” she said. “We owe a great deal to him for revealing this kind of information.”

While this is unlikely to lead the US to suddenly drop its Espionage Act charges against Snowden (when has the US ever cared about what the UN has to say?), it’s yet another example in a growing list of people recognizing just how extreme and isolated the US government’s kneejerk reaction was to the Snowden revelations. If the US government were actually willing to be self-critical, it might realize what a mistake it’s doing in trying to string up the messenger. We should be examining the appropriateness of the surveillance state, not whether the person who revealed the details should spend the rest of his life in jail.

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Comments on “UN Human Rights Commissioner Says Snowden Shouldn't Face A Trial”

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Anonymous Coward says:

“While this is unlikely to lead the US to suddenly drop its Espionage Act charges against Snowden (when has the US ever cared about what the UN has to say?)”

I find it rather likely that they now double down on it, just to stick it to the rather unpopular UN (for the government at least).

Because, how dare those peasants to challenge their lord and master…

GEMont (profile) says:

Re: Not a problem

Actually, they already held the trial, announced the verdict and declared the punishment, the day after they realized Snowden confiscated their stash of super secrets.

Mind you, the whole thing took place in a secret room in a secret bunker and the secret members of the secret court and secret jury are duty bound by secret oath (right fist on chest, left hand covering mouth, eyes looking upwards), and the threat of painful slow death, to keep the secret verdict and secret punishment decided upon, a complete secret from the US public, because – money, prison, heads-on-pikes.

They did however, scribe the details of the court case, verdict and punishment on the front end of the drone missile they call “The Executioner”.

Whatever (profile) says:

UN so cool

I have to love the UN, a powerless, toothless tiger with lots of roar and very little bite. Now they have started down the same sort of road that clever politicians like Putin use:


Yesterday, it’s a story of how the UN thinks that bulk gathering might, maybe, possible, could be sort of kinda in violation maybe sort of of human rights we think.

Today, it’s well, we have already shown that data gathering was a violation of human rights, so Snowden should get off scot free.

You don’t even have to be sensitive to smell how putrid this one smells, it will be interesting to see who is behind these two shocking revelations!

It’s an incredible jump of logic. In the mean time, the UN as a whole ignores some of the most serious human rights abuses of mankind’s history, because it’s not convenient to point them or try to deal with them.

Back to sleep toothless tiger.

sigalrm says:

Re: Re: Re:3 UN so cool

State surveillance outside of the law is a serious issue, but it doesn’t even stand close to the execution of close family members or the shooting of people trying to escape the repressive regimes.

…and there’s absolutely no historical precedent to suggest that extensive state surveillance has ever resulted in the execution of close family members or the shooting of people trying to escape the repressive regimes.

GEMont (profile) says:

American Justice

“UN Human Rights Commissioner Says Snowden Shouldn’t Face A Trial” – and we agree whole heartedly.

However, the directors and department heads of the NSA, FBI, CIA and Homeland Security for the last decade, should all face a trial for a large number of criminal charges.

However under the modern American Justice System, only the good guys need to fear legal prosecution for their actions, regardless of how many crooks those actions expose.

The law is now primarily there to protect the criminals.

After all, they are the ones that are writing them these days.

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