Snowden’s
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“Though their resources were limited—Supun, Nadeeka, Vanessa and two little girls lived in a crumbling, cramped apartment smaller than my room at the Mira—they shared everything they had with me, and they shared it unstintingly.”

— Edward Snowden

Let’s finish the job. Six of the refugees who sheltered Edward Snowden are now safe in Canada, but one is not. This page is about saving his life, and supporting the recent arrivals as they start their new lives in Canada.

Nadeeka and Supun

They met in Hong Kong, and now have two children, Sethumdi and Dinath. Supun is also Keana’s father, and Sethumdi and Dinath are Keana’s half-siblings.

After years of advocacy, the family were finally allowed to come to Canada in the Fall of 2021. The formerly stateless children and their parents are now permanent residents of Canada.

Your donations have paid their living expenses and kept the kids in school for the past four years, and now For the Refugees is supporting the family as they get on their feet and the parents search for jobs.

To learn more about the family’s story, please see here.

Ajith

Ajith fled his home country of Sri Lanka in 2003. When he was caught by the military police, he was then tortured. With his military background, Ajith acted as Edward Snowden’s bodyguard in Hong Kong in 2013.

In Sri Lanka, Ajith signed up for the military when he was 18 years old. But in the Ambepussa Army Camp young recruits were abused daily and often raped by their superiors. A victim of sexual abuse and at one point left for dead, Ajith deserted. When he was caught by the military police, he was then tortured.

With his military background, Ajith acted as Edward Snowden’s bodyguard in Hong Kong in 2013.

Ajith has been diagnosed with PTSD and fears he will be killed if he returns to his home country. He tries to find solace in his practice of Buddhism, but wants nothing more than to have a normal life and to see his daughter again. They have not seen each other in over 15 years.

Past Cases

During a trip home to the Philippines in 2000, Vanessa was kidnapped and raped. She gave birth to a son who was taken from her and is now presumed to be dead. In 2002 she fled back to Hong Kong to escape her aggressor, where she lived with her infant daughter Keana.
In June 2013 she sheltered an unexpected visitor named Edward Snowden, hiding his passport in her refrigerator. Today, Vanessa has fond memories of Edward playing with her little daughter and all three of them celebrating his 30th birthday together in her home.
Vanessa and Keana were admitted to Canada as refugees privately sponsored by For the Refugees in March, 2019, and currently live in Montreal.
For the Refugees’ sponsorship of Vanessa and Keana was successfully completed in 2020.
To learn more about Vanessa’s story, please see here.

As seen on...

The Washington Post

First of the ‘Snowden refugees’ has been granted asylum in Canada

The Guardian

Hong Kong’s Snowden refugees, facing deportation, hope of new life in Canada