Ivan Snowden: International Law on Asylum and Espionage

by Emmanuel Omoh Esiemokhai

A young American, who was entrusted with national security duties, absconded with a trove of vital national intelligence materials and later surfaced in Hong Kong. He later slipped out of his hotel in the height of night and boarded a Moscow-bound Aeroflot. He landed on a Russian chess-board.

I do not believe that he was holed up on the blue side of the famous airport. During the Second World War, a Russian private captured a German General and because of the latter’s military intelligence worth; he became Stalin’s guest for quite some years.

Ivan Snowden, a name he is likely to adopt as a cover, is very valuable to be left in the heat at Sheremyitova airport.
He will learn Russian, cruise along the River Volga and visit Sochi as a conditioning therapy.

By now, he would have read Pushkin, Dostoyevsky, Dobrolybov but not Solzhenitsyn’s “One Day in the Life of Ivan Dennisov”or “Cancer Ward”.
The Russians are very intelligent people and they love those, who are “hitri”and “mudri.” They value human intelligence and military intelligence.
They will run Ivan Snowden through two phases of interrogation. They will “doverat” Snowden, but will also “praveriat” him.

It was after that that they have granted him asylum. Asylum is an old traditional aspect of international. The Treaty between the King of Egarit and other Kings recognized asylum as a humanitarian act, whereby people, who were in distress were granted respite. The UN has codified the international law on asylum.

States reserve the sovereign right to grant or reject applications for asylum depending on their municipal law and the rules of international law.
In some cases, the state requesting extradition of fugitive offenders must show that, if extradited, the fugitive offender will not be subjected to inhuman and degrading treatment and that he will get a fair trial, under municipal law.

As a result of the betrayal the US rightly feels about Ivan Snowden’s mischief, some think, rightly or wrongly or assume that he may be judged harshly.

Espionage is part of the instrument of statecraft. Every state is entitled to get useful information about the combat readiness of troops, wire-tapping, bugging, information gathering, deception, the use of human agents in dirty tricks operations, the use of trained women seducers to shame men, surveillance, sabotage, the weapons system of states, eaves-dropping, intimidation, black listing of persons, who hold opposite views, etc.
In the diplomatic and intelligence practices of rival states, especially during the Cold War, spies were sent to conduct covert operations and the defections of British spies of the Oxford and Cambridge genre, Oleg, and other Russian defectors were celebrated in the East and West, as well as prominent anti-Soviet personalities, who got Nobel prizes.

This subject is too wide to find full treatment in this essay.
The US is rightly furious because one would have thought that the Russo-American Rapprochement, which permitted hopes of commitas gentium, would prevail.

Both parties should desist from extolling dissidents and adopt unbiased attitudes towards one another.
Of course, there are half-baked pundits, who stoke the embers of propaganda, because that is what they feed on.

States in Latin America may wish to tone down their anti-imperialist rhetoric, because they sow the seeds of hatred towards the US in the minds of their young ones.

In a world full of hatred, wars, debauchery and anti-christ musings, state-sponsored hatred is an ill-wind that blows no-one any good.
God is Love and He is watching us from above.

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