The Russian government announced on Wednesday that Edward Snowden’s asylum in Russia has been extended.
“Snowden has just extended the term of the residence permit in Russia for another couple of years,” said Maria Zakharova, a spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, The Washington Times reported.
The former National Security Agency contractor has been living in Russia since 2013, when he provided classified details of previously unknown domestic and international US surveillance programs to media outlets.
Several prominent human-rights groups have publicly requested Barack Obama for some type of clemency for Snowden, including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch. The White House, however, has maintained that Snowden’s disclosures harmed national security and that he would need to face trial upon his return to the US before any pardon can be considered.