The father of former U.S. spy agency contractor Edward Snowden returns home after a weeklong visit with his son in Russia.

Lon Snowden told journalists at a New York airport that his son has more secrets to share and should stay in Russia "to make sure the true story is told".

(SOUNDBITE) (English) LON SNOWDEN, EDWARD SNOWDEN'S FATHER, SAYING ABOUT WHAT ADVICE HE GAVE HIS SON:

"To stay. To stay. But that is my advice, that is not necessarily what my son will do. He is comfortable, he is happy and he is absolutely committed to what he has done."

(SOUNDBITE) (English) LON SNOWDEN, EDWARD SNOWDEN'S FATHER, SAYING ABOUT HIS SON'S PLANS TO TALK TO PRESS:

"He is a whistleblower. He is not a fugitive. He is a legal asylee of the Russian federation. And the press needs to get that right and I think our government probably understands that."

Edward Snowden was granted asylum in Russia after spending nearly two months in this transit zone at Moscow airport when the U.S. filed charges and revoked his travel documents.

The 30-year-old leaked thousands of intelligence documents, revealing extensive internet and phone surveillance by both the U.S. and British intelligence.

Admirers call him a human rights champion but critics denounce him as a traitor.

 

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