Rights Groups, Riding Film Publicity, Urge Pardon for Edward Snowden
By CHARLIE SAVAGE
WASHINGTON — Three human rights groups on Wednesday urged President Obama to pardon Edward J. Snowden, the former intelligence contractor who leaked secret documents about National Security Agency surveillance in 2013 and is living in Russia as a fugitive from criminal charges.
The start of the campaign coincides with the theatrical release this week of the movie “Snowden,” a sympathetic, fictionalized version of his story by the director Oliver Stone. Together, the film and the campaign, called “Pardon Snowden,” opened a new chapter in the debate about the surveillance Mr. Snowden revealed and about whether his leaks will go down in history as whistle-blowing or treason.