Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, a refugee for almost a year at the Embassy of Ecuador in London, is recommending that Edward Snowden seek refuge in Latin America.
Talking from experience, Assange said the former CIA employee who leaked top-secret documents about U.S. surveillance programs should consider taking up residence in a country in Latin America, where “there is a long tradition of asylum.”
"I would strongly advise him to go to Latin America," Assange told CNN's AC360 Monday night. "Latin America has shown in the past 10 years that it is really pushing forward in human rights."
Although most Latin American countries have extradition treaties with the U.S., many countries such as Cuba, Ecuador and Nicaragua have routinely become a haven for those seeking to avoid American prisons.
Snowden, whose whereabouts are unknown since he checked out of a trendy hotel in the Chinese territory of Hong Kong Tuesday, is said to be considering asylum in either China or Iceland.
In several interviews with various news organizations over the last 24 hours, Assange called Snowden a "hero" and revealed he has been in indirect contact with the ex-CIA staffer.
“We have had indirect communication with [Snowden’s] people. I don't think it's appropriate at this time that I go into further details. But let's look at the case and let's look at what he's revealed,” he told the Australian TV show Lateline on Tuesday.
"Edward Snowden is a hero who has informed the public about one of the most serious events of the decade, which was the creeping formulation of a mass surveillance state," the Australian told Sky News.
"What other countries need to do is line up to give support to him," said Assange.
Assange said American soldier Bradley Manning (the soldier now on trial for releasing classified documents to WikiLeaks about the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan) and Snowden are part of a triumvirate of whistleblowers who have challenged governments' relationships with their citizens.
A journalist of The Guardian, the British paper where the news of the leak first broke, said Snowden first chose the semiautonomous Chinese region because it was the least bad option open to him.
He also said that he believed he wouldn't get a fair trial in the United States.