Former US National Security Agency (NSA) contractor Edward Snowden and his wife, Lindsay Mills, on Friday announced the birth of their first child.
Sharing the news on her website, Mills wrote, “the greatest gifts of all is the love we share,” as she posted the images of the couple holding the newborn.
Snowden, 37, had earlier in November, announced that he and his wife are applying for citizenship in Russia as part of an effort to ensure that his family remains together following the birth of their child.
“After years of separation from our parents, my wife and I have no desire to be separated from our son,” wrote Snowden. “That’s why, in this era of pandemics and closed borders, we’re applying for dual US-Russian citizenship.”
He continued, "Lindsay and I will remain Americans, raising our son with all the values of the America we love — including the freedom to speak his mind. And I look forward to the day I can return to the States, so the whole family can be reunited. Our greatest wish is that, wherever our son lives, he feels at home."
The couple has already been granted permanent residency rights in Russia, amid a push from Republican lawmakers to include the whistleblower in the list of those granted clemency by the President. Senator Rand Paul and Representative Matt Gaetz have made a case before President Donald Trump for Snowden’s pardon on the ground that he has been “unfairly persecuted”, reported Politico.
Snowden fled to Russia after leaking classified NSA files in 2013 that detailed the agencies’ expansive domestic and foreign surveillance programmes. He has been accused of espionage and theft of government property and American authorities have, for years, wanted him extradited to face a criminal trial.
Snowden was granted asylum in Russia and has since been living in its capital, Moscow.
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