Activists and refugees staged a protest in Hong Kong Sunday calling on Washington to pardon fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden, with protesters describing refugees in the city as "heroes" for helping him evade authorities in 2013.
The former National Security Agency contractor, who released thousands of classified documents revealing the vast US surveillance put in place after the Sept. 11 attacks, currently lives in Russia.
He fled with documents to Hong Kong, where he hid among Sri Lankan refugees in cramped tenements, and later received political asylum in Russia after the United States revoked his passport while he was en route to Ecuador. The New York Times reported he stayed with at least four refugees with the help of a human rights lawyer in the southern Chinese city. Protesters said the city's refugees, many of them forced to live in slum-like conditions.
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