Snowden elected leader of students at UK school

AP News
Posted: Feb 18, 2014 2:30 PM

LONDON (AP) — Former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden was elected Tuesday as the official representative of the student body at the University of Glasgow.

Students at the institution say that they nominated Snowden to make a statement about democratic rights.

"We showed Edward Snowden and other brave whistleblowers that we stand in solidarity with them, regardless of where they are," they said in a statement.

Snowden, who leaked documents disclosing details of U.S. spies' surveillance of the Internet and telephone communications, has received temporary asylum in Russia.

Glasgow students had earlier said they contacted Snowden through his lawyers and he agreed to stand for the job, known as rector.

Previous rectors at the university include Winnie Mandela, who was elected though students knew that she would not be able to travel to Glasgow.

Given that Britain has an extradition treaty with the United States, where Snowden is wanted on criminal charges, it is most unlikely that he would choose to come.