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Edward Snowden breaks silence to threaten new U.S. leaks

Activists from the Internet Party of Ukraine perform during a rally supporting Edward Snowden, a former contractor at the National Security
Activists from the Internet Party of Ukraine perform during a rally supporting Edward Snowden, a former contractor at the National Security

LONDON (Reuters) - Former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden has broken his silence for the first time since he fled to Moscow eight days ago to say he remains free to make new disclosures about U.S. spying activity.

In a letter to Ecuador, Snowden said the United States was illegally persecuting him for revealing its electronic surveillance program, PRISM. He also thanked Ecuador for helping him get to Russia and for examining his asylum request.

"I remain free and able to publish information that serves the public interest," Snowden said in an undated Spanish-language letter sent to President Rafael Correa of Ecuador, seen by Reuters.

"No matter how many more days my life contains, I remain dedicated to the fight for justice in this unequal world. If any of those days ahead realize a contribution to the common good, the world will have the principles of Ecuador to thank," part of the text read, according to a translation.

Snowden, who is believed to be holed up in the transit area of a Moscow airport, complained that the United States was illegally pursuing him for an act he said was in the public interest.

"While the public has cried out support of my shining a light on this secret system of injustice, the Government of the United States of America responded with an extrajudicial man-hunt costing me my family, my freedom to travel, and my right to live peacefully without fear of illegal aggression," he wrote.

(Reporting By Andrew Osborn; Editing by Andrew Heavens)

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