In a conference call with reporters Monday morning, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange said the organization was helping NSA leaker Edward Snowden with his attempt to get asylum in Ecuador. Assange also said Snowden may have requested asylum from unspecified "other countries."
"Mr. Snowden has submitted an asylum application to Ecuador and possibly to other countries," Assange said.
Assange said Snowden reached out to Wikileaks for help based on the organization's experience working with leakers and Assange's own attempt to seek asylum.
Wikileaks' U.S. attorney Michael Ratner also spoke on the call and outlined the legal basis for Snowden's asylum request.
"The refugee convention protects people who are being persecuted for political opinion. Whistleblowing activities come within that," said Ratner.
Ratner criticized the U.S. government for "trying to interfere with an application for asylum by a person who is a clear whistlebower." Both Assange and Ratner claimed the U.S. is trying to "bully" the other countries who have been involved in trying to facilitate Snowden's asylum requests.
Snowden initially went to Hong Kong after leaving the U.S. He left Hong Kong Sunday on a flight that landed in Moscow.