Mr Edward Snowden, the American whistleblower who exposed evidence of a global surveillance regime conducted by US and UK intelligence agencies, has left Hong Kong legally. He is bound for a democratic nation via a safe route for the purposes of asylum, and is being escorted by diplomats and legal advisors from WikiLeaks.
Mr Snowden requested that WikiLeaks use its legal expertise and experience to secure his safety. Once Mr Snowden arrives at his final destination his request will be formally processed.
Former Spanish Judge Mr Baltasar Garzon, legal director of Wikileaks and lawyer for Julian Assange has made the following statement:
"The WikiLeaks legal team and I are interested in preserving Mr Snowden’s rights and protecting him as a person. What is being done to Mr Snowden and to Mr Julian Assange - for making or facilitating disclosures in the public interest - is an assault against the people".
There's a lot of speculation now on Snowden's final destination, including Cuba, Ecuador (which has given Julian Assange refuge in its London embassy), Iceland and Venezuela. Iceland would seem to be the most pleasant destination, from a personal freedom and non-horrifying-rulers perspective, but his reception there is uncertain. Where he ends up seems largely dependent on which government is willing to risk — and resist — the wrath of the United States government by taking in the high-profile whistleblower.
The one thing that's absolutely clear, right now, is that Edward Snowden must run to escape prosecution for espionage by the United States government for revealing to the American people, and the world, part of the vast threat to liberty and privacy that government now poses.