The European Parliament voted Thursday to urge EU nations to protect former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden from extradition to the United States.
The White House wants Snowden to return from Russia to face charges that include two counts of violating the Espionage Act and one count of theft of government property.
The European Parliament said that Snowden is an “international human rights defender” and that any criminal charges against him should be dropped adding that Snowden should be protected recognizing his status as whistle-blower.
The European resolution narrowly passed in a 285-281 vote.
Thirty two year old Snowden leaked details of the United States surveillance programs to The Guardian and The Washington Post. The first reports of these programs were made available to the public in June 2013.