A Russian lawyer assisting Snowden in his asylum request, Anatoly Kucherena, who also sits on an advisory group to the Russian authorities, said his client feared he could face torture or the death penalty if returned to the US.
Russia’s federal migration service has up to three months to consider Snowden’s temporary asylum request filed on July 16.
An official was quoted on Friday as saying that could be extended to six months. Snowden is a convenient propaganda tool for the Kremlin, which often accuses the US of preaching abroad what it does not practice at home on human rights.
However, Moscow has also held Snowden at arm’s length as Putin wants US President Barack Obama to come to a bilateral summit in Moscow before a G20 meeting in St Petersburg in September.
The White House has been vague on whether Obama will come to the face-to-face talks.
A US Senate panel voted unanimously on Thursday to seek trade or other sanctions against Russia or any other country that offers asylum to Snowden.
The US House of Representatives on Wednesday narrowly rejected a plan to limit the National Security Agency’s ability to collect electronic information, including phone call records.
Snowden’s father, Lonnie, on Friday blasted US lawmakers for not reining in the electronic spy program made public by his son, accusing them of being “complicit or negligent.”
Bruce Fein, an attornery for Snowden’s father, said he had not yet received a response from Holder to a letter he sent to the attorney general suggesting developing “parameters for a fair trial” for Snowden.
Fein said Lonnie Snowden had not had any direct communication with his son since April.