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UK seeks to block Snowden travel

A woman walks by the Mira Hotel in Kowloon, Hong Kong Friday. Former CIA employee Edward Snowden, accused of leaking details of top-secret US surveillance of phones and internet, reportedly was staying at the hotel.
A woman walks by the Mira Hotel in Kowloon, Hong Kong Friday. Former CIA employee Edward Snowden, accused of leaking details of top-secret US surveillance of phones and internet, reportedly was staying at the hotel.
Jessica Hromas/Getty Images

The United Kingdom apparently does not want the headache that is Edward Snowden.

The Associated Press reported that it had examined a travel alert issued by the UK Home Office advising airlines not to allow Snowden to board flights to the UK because “he is highly likely to be refused entry.”

Snowden, 29, is a former CIA employee who leaked to the media details of a secret electronic surveillance program of American citizens operated by the National Security Agency.

The AP reportedly saw the alert at an airport in Thailand and Bangkok Airways, Singapore Airlines, and Malaysia Airlines all confirmed that they had received it. Singapore Airlines and Malaysia Airlines both offer flights to Chicago.

“If this individual attempts to travel to the UK, carriers should deny boarding,” the document advised.

The airlines also were warned they could be liable for “costs relating to the individual's detention and removal” from a flight.

Snowden was last seen in Hong Kong, a former British colony, but the BBC reported there is no indication Snowden intends to travel to the UK.

Snowden told the South China Morning Post that he intended to stay in Hong Kong and would fight extradition to the United States.

“People who think I made a mistake in picking Hong Kong as a location misunderstand my intentions,” he told the newspaper. “I am not here to hide from justice. I am here to reveal criminality.”

Hong Kong is a special administrative region of the People’s Republic of China and has a separate court system from the rest of the country based on English common law.

“My intention is to ask the courts and people of Hong Kong to decide my fate,” Snowden said. “I have been given no reason to doubt your system.”

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