Amnesty International Norway claimed on Friday that former US intelligence contractor Edward Snowden risks being sentenced to death for espionage if he is extradited to the US.
On Tuesday, whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks announced that its lawyers had filed asylum requests with several European countries, including Norway. Snowden, meanwhile, has taken temporary refuge at a Moscow airport.
"The Immigration Act allows embassies or international organizations to request that applications are processed, even if the applicant is abroad. In 2007, about 15 persons were granted residence in Norway this way," he argued in an op-ed article.
An attempt by the Norwegian PEN society this week to get Justice Minister Grete Faremo to open Snowden's asylum case fell on deaf ears.
"The US has asked that Snowden be extradited. Prosecution in a democratic nation with a criminal justice system such as that which exists in the United States means (the case) is in principle outside the asylum law," Faremo said in a statement on Thursday.
Now Amnesty is trying its luck, saying that Snowden's decision to leak information about extensive data surveillance had uncovered a human rights violation of citizens across the world.
"There is reason to fear that the principles of justice not be upheld by treating Snowden's case in a US court," .Amnesty International Norway's Secretary General John Peder Egenæs said on Friday.
"He is accused of crimes that may entail capital punishment."