During a press conference earlier today, two Hong Kong lawmakers suggested that the U.S. should “tread very carefully” with the Edward Snowden case and “consider letting go” of the NSA whistleblower.
Claudia Mo Man-ching and Gary Fan Kwok-wai also sent a letter to President Obama, suggesting that prosecution of Snowden might put a “stain … on his political career.”
Man-ching said that extraditing Snowden would be complicated, and wrote in the letter that she and Kwok-wai believe Snowden has “done liberal democracy a service” by leaking the information alleging a vast domestic surveillance program by NSA that may be illegal.
The Hong Kong officials’ statement might also be read as a thinly veiled threat which would be “both unseemly and way out of line,” according to Steven Bucci, director of foreign policy studies at The Heritage Foundation:
“Snowden is a criminal, having broken multiple federal laws. I do not believe we threaten their government, even if we disagreed with their treatment of their citizens,” Bucci said.
The Hong Kong government has made no official statements regarding whether it will extradite Snowden if requested by the U.S. or grant him asylum.
Ashe Schow is a commentary staff writer for the Washington Examiner. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.