Snowden responds to Assange arrest: 'Dark moment for press freedom'

Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who leaked classified information from the agency in 2013, called WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange’s arrest Thursday a “dark moment for press freedom.”

"Images of Ecuador's ambassador inviting the UK's secret police into the embassy to drag a publisher of--like it or not--award-winning journalism out of the building are going to end up in the history books,” Snowden said on Twitter Thursday morning. “Assange's critics may cheer, but this is a dark moment for press freedom.”

Snowden, who lives in Russia under political asylum, was charged with stealing U.S. government property and violating the Espionage Act of 1917.

ADVERTISEMENT

Assange was arrested in London on behalf of U.S. authorities Thursday after living in the Ecuadorian Embassy in the city since 2012.

London’s Metropolitan Police said the Ecuadorian government had withdrawn asylum and invited police into the facility to arrest Assange. He has been charged with computer hacking in relation to his 2010 release of classified government cables obtained from former Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning.

Snowden also shared a tweet from former Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa, who called current President Lenin Moreno “the greatest traitor in Ecuadorian and Latin American history” for allowing the police to enter the embassy.