Russia has accused Britain of failing to practice what it preaches on human rights after authorities in London forced the Guardian newspaper to destroy material given to it by US military whistle-blower Edward Snowden.
The Guardian has used the data obtained by Snowden to blow the lid on controversial and hitherto secret surveillance practices employed by the US and other Western governments, including the monitoring of personal telephone calls and internet communications. On Tuesday, the UK government ordered the Guardian to destroy the hard drives containing the documents Snowden took from the US’ National Security Agency (NSA).
Western governments including the UK have frequently criticised Russia’s record on human rights.
“The measures taken by the British authorities towards the Guardian newspaper are out of tune with the British side’s statements on commitments to universal standards of human rights,” Interfax news agency quoted Foreign Ministry spokesman Alexander Lukashevich as saying.
Russia has granted asylum to Snowden much to the anger of the United States, where the former spy agency contractor is wanted by authorities who accuse him of espionage.