Edward Snowden has been holding a meeting with leading human rights groups and lawyers at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow.
The fugitive US intelligence leaker requested the meeting with around 10 activists in the airport transit zone.
Edward Snowden told activists he was seeking political asylum in Russia. He had earlier dropped his application when Moscow said he could stay only if he stopped leaking US secrets.
The Kremlin reiterated this condition on Friday.
“Mr. Snowden could hypothetically stay in Russia if he first, completely stops the activities harming our American partners and US-Russian relations and second, if he asks for this himself,” President Vladimir Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said.
Edward Snowden is wanted by the US on charges of leaking secrets about US surveillance schemes.
He has sent requests for political asylum to at least 21 countries, most of which have turned down his request.
However, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Venezuela have indicated they could take him in.
It is thought he is considering seeking political asylum in Russia because he cannot fly out of Moscow.
Edward Snowden has been holding a meeting with leading human rights groups and lawyers at Sheremetyevo airport in Moscow
“He wants to stay here until he can fly to Latin America,” Tatyana Lokshina of Human Rights Watch is quoted as saying.
Edward Snowden, 30, is unable to leave the transit zone without asylum documents, a valid passport or a Russian visa, none of which he reportedly has.
He has reportedly been stuck in transit since arriving in Moscow from Hong Kong on June 23.
On Friday, the first photo in three weeks of Edward Snowden emerged. It was taken by Tatyana Lokshina during the airport meeting.
Other activists present at the gathering included Sergei Nikitin, the head of Amnesty International’s Russia office, prominent Moscow lawyer Genri Reznik and Russia’s presidential human rights ombudsman, Vladimir Lukin.
A large press scrum gathered at the airport ahead of the meeting, while Interfax reported Edward Snowden had moved from his room in the airport’s Capsule Hotel to attend the meeting.
Tatyana Lokshina earlier posted the text of Edward Snowden’s invitation email on her Facebook page.
In the message, Edward Snowden complained that the US government was waging an “unlawful campaign” to prevent him from securing asylum.
“This dangerous escalation represents a threat not just to the dignity of Latin America or my own personal security, but to the basic right shared by every living person to live free from persecution,” the message read.
The email said the fugitive wanted to discuss the “next steps forward” in his situation.
It also instructed those attending to bring a copy of the invite and identification papers, as “security will likely be tight at this meeting”.
The meeting was not open to the press. Edward Snowden said he planned to address journalists at a later stage.
Edward Snowden had previously applied for Russian asylum but President Vladimir Putin said he would only be welcome if he stopped “his work aimed at inflicting damage on our American partners”.
Even if a country accepted Edward Snowden’s application, getting there could prove difficult.
Last week, several European countries refused to allow the jet of Bolivian president Evo Morales to cross their airspace on its way back from Moscow – apparently because of suspicions that Edward Snowden was on board.
Washington seeks to prosecute Edward Snowden over the leaking of thousands of classified US intelligence documents.
The leaks have led to revelations that the National Security Agency (NSA) is systematically seizing vast amounts of phone and web data.
They have also revealed that both the UK and French intelligence agencies allegedly run similarly vast data collection operations, and the US has been eavesdropping on official EU communications.
The case has strained relations between the US and China.
President Barack Obama said on Thursday he was “disappointed” that China had chosen not to hand over Edward Snowden to the US authorities when he was in Hong Kong in June.
A US government official said the decision had undermined calls for co-operation between the two countries.
But China said Hong Kong – which allowed Edward Snowden to leave for Russia – had acted in accordance with the territory’s law.
“Its approach is beyond reproach,” Chinese state councillor Yang Jiechi said.
Amnesty International and the Open Society Justice Initiative have urged the Haitian authorities not to drop a rights case against former ruler Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier.
The international human rights groups said Jean-Claude Duvalier “must not evade justice” for alleged crimes against humanity.
In January 2012, a judge ruled that the alleged abuses had expired under Haiti’s statute of limitations.
An appeal hearing against that decision is due to begin on Thursday.
Jean-Claude Duvalier unexpectedly returned to Haiti in 2011 after 25 years in exile, prompting the Haitian authorities to open an investigation into crimes allegedly committed during his 1971-86 rule.
Baby Doc Duvalier has denied all the accusations against him.
A judge decided that he should stand trial for embezzling public funds but ruled that the statute of limitations had run out on charges of murder, arbitrary arrest, torture and disappearances.
Alleged victims and their relatives have appealed against this ruling.
Amnesty International and the Open Society Justice Initiative have urged the Haitian authorities not to drop a rights case against former ruler Jean-Claude “Baby Doc” Duvalier
A first hearing was postponed when Jean-Claude Duvalier failed to appear in court on 31 January. He has been ordered to attend Thursday’s hearing.
International law requires that he should stand trial for alleged crimes against humanity, the Open Society Justice Initiative said.
Amnesty International has also argued that such crimes are not subject to a statute of limitations.
“With the case of Jean-Claude Duvalier, it is the whole credibility of the Haitian justice system which is at stake,” Amnesty said.
“Only by respecting the procedures in the appeal case, including thoroughly examining all evidence and hearing all the victims, will the court be able to demonstrate the professionalism and independence of the Haitian justice system.”
Jean-Claude Duvalier was just 19 when he inherited the title of president-for-life from his father, Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier, who had ruled Haiti since 1957.
Like his father, Jean-Claude Duvalier relied on a brutal militia known as the Tontons Macoutes to control the country.
In 1986 Jean-Claude Duvalier was forced from power by a popular uprising and US diplomatic pressure, and went into exile in France.
The Vietnamese authorities have jailed three bloggers accused of spreading anti-government propaganda, in a case criticized by human rights groups.
The high-profile but brief trial took place in Ho Chi Minh City under heavy security, reports say.
The trio was given jail sentences of between four and 12 years.
The government, which does not allow freedom of expression, has been under pressure from bloggers over corruption cases and human rights issues.
The three were accused of posting political articles on a banned website called Free Journalists’ Club, as well as articles critical of the government on their own blogs.
Vietnam has jailed three bloggers accused of spreading anti-government propaganda
Nguyen Van Hai, who uses the pen name Dieu Cay, received the longest sentence of 12 years.
The case of Dieu Cay, who was a soldier before he became a dissident writer, was raised by US President Barack Obama earlier this year.
Former policewoman Ta Phong Tan, who also wrote a blog called ”Justice and Truth”, was sent to jail for a decade. In July, her mother died after setting herself on fire in apparent protest against the detention of her daughter.
The third dissident writer, Phan Thanh Hai, was jailed for four years.
In a statement, the US embassy in Hanoi called on the Vietnamese government to free the group.
“We are deeply concerned by reports that the Ho Chi Minh City People’s Court convicted and sentenced blogger Dieu Cay to 12 years in prison for peacefully expressing his political views,” the statement said.
Activists have accused the government of stepping up a crackdown against bloggers and peaceful activists.
“Vietnam’s arbitrary use of vaguely worded national security laws to imprison critics of the government means bloggers are bearing the brunt of this assault on freedom of expression,” Brad Adams, Asia director at the New York-based Human Rights Watch, said in a statement urging the release of the trio.
Earlier this month, Vietnam’s prime minister hit out at three blogs critical of the government.
A statement on a government website said PM Nguyen Tan Dung had ordered police to investigate and take action against those responsible.