Canada grants refugee status to Filipina who hid Snowden in HK
Canada granted refugee status to Filipina national Vanessa Rodel and her seven-year-old daughter, Keana,after her unexpected role in providing refuge to American whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Snowden was a contractor for a U.S. spy-agency who in 2013 became the world’s most wanted man after leaking details of U.S. mass-surveillance programs.
Some asylum-seekers who also hid Edward Snowden in Hong Kong have been granted refugee status as well, but others who helped the whistleblower are still waiting for a decision from Canada on refugee status, with one hospitalized for a mental breakdown, according to a report by TheStarPhoenix.com
Rodel and her daughter boarded a flight to Toronto Monday. The grant of refugee status is the first breakthrough for a Canadian team trying to help three asylum-seeking families who hid Snowden, and who believe they have been harassed and targeted for deportation as a result.
The others who helped Snowden, a Sri Lankan couple with two young children and single Sri Lankan man, are still for Canada’s decision on their request for refugee status.
Supun Kellapatha, father of the two children, was hospitalized Friday due to the deterioration of his mental health.
Snowden hid for two weeks by staying in their homes before surfacing and taking a flight to Russia.
Hong Kong authorities have denied there was any kind of persecution. But the bid to bring the refugees who helped Snowden to Canada began all the same.
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