Edward Snowden continues to say hilarious things about Russia as he hangs out in the transit section of the Moscow airport.  (Hey, it’s funnier to talk about than the depressing Trayvon Martin verdict).  He has now described Russia as “the first to stand against human rights violations”.  Gay people and political dissidents all over the country laughed, or would have laughed if they were not in labor camps or dead. 

This statement from Snowden made me scratch my head, until I realized that when Snowden is talking about “human rights”, he is thinking only of a very specific human:  himself.  He is so focused on his own situation that he cannot see some of the other “human rights” stuff which is happening in the country which has granted him refuge.  This may speak to a big ego on his part–which wouldn’t surprise me.  Or it may simply show that Snowden is frightened and exhausted, and is probably saying flattering things about Russia out of fear.  Meanwhile, Putin has described him as an unwanted Christmas present.  Ouch…the love here is clearly not a two-way street.

Now, here’s a human rights defender I can really get behind…the awesome mayor of Reykjavik, Jon Gnarr, who has proposed to end Reykjavik’s sister city arrangement with Moscow as a protest against Russia’s recently passed homophobic law against “gay propaganda”.  Needless to say, Mr. Gnarr is a big proponent of gay rights and has appeared in drag in Pride parades. 

Iceland’s Pirate Party has voted to offer Edward Snowden citizenship.  Should he ever get his ability to travel back, this would be a much better choice than Moscow.

 

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