Snowden, who applied for temporary asylum in Russia and has been living in limbo at the Moscow international airport for nearly a month, hopes to be granted a certificate for temporary asylum on Wedesday, Snowden’s lawyer announced on Monday.
Venezuela, Bolivia and Nicaragua have offered Snowden asylum. None can be reached by direct commercial flight from Moscow, so taking a commercial flight could make Snowden vulnerable to arrest during a stopover and he could be returned to the United States, where he faces espionage charges.
The campaign Fly Edward Snowden Fly, which surfaced on Mashable.com, was set up by Christian Honey, a neuroscientist at the University of Oxford. Honey hopes to raise $200,000 to fund Snowden’s travel—with no stops—by private jet to Venezuela.
Beyond travel expenses, Honey explains on the Indiegogo site, “all scenarios for Edward Snowden involve substantial legal costs: asylum applications, legal advice, defense.
“All funds,” Honey says, “will go directly to the bank account set up for Mr. Snowden by Rothera and Company LLT in London, the accountants that also take care of the Wikileaks’ Julian Assange’s support fund.”
The campaign, which has nine days left, has a long way to go toward its goal. So far, only a little over $1,600 has been raised.
The former NSA contractor, who leaked classified documents to the media about U.S. government surveillance programs, is hoping to avoid prosecution by fleeing to a friendly country that has offered asylum.
Although Snowden has not made his travel plans public, Honey concludes that he is most likely to eventually go to Venezuela.
“Edward Snowden deserves to be free,” Honey told Yahoo News by email. “He revealed that the US and UK governments have secretly created spying programs that no one ever voted for.”