‘They had a hundred chances to betray me while I was amongst them, and no one could have blamed them, given their precarious situations. But they never did,’ Snowden told Canadian newspaper the National Post.
‘If not for their compassion, my story could have ended differently. They taught me, no matter who you are, no matter what you have, sometimes a little courage can change the course of history.’ The article also cites lawyers who helped Snowden, as well as other Hong Kong residents who helped him flee a hotel room after he identified himself as the source behind the release of a trove of sensitive US government data on June 9, 2013.
That sparked two weeks of hiding Snowden in the homes of various people - most of them refugees themselves who risked deportation if it came to light that they had helped a fugitive - until he departed for a flight to Russia on June 23. He remains in Russia to this day.
Snowden and some of his collaborators said a motivation for revealing the story now is because a movie, ‘Snowden,’ directed by Oliver Stone, about Snowden is set for release Friday at the Toronto Film Festival.
According to the report, Snowden has given 1,000 US dollars to all those who helped him, for fear that their lives may become difficult now that their identities will be made public by the film.
The secrets Snowden released provided critical details about US espionage efforts, some of them targeting allies. He remains wanted by the United States, but has received long-term asylum in Russia.