The woman who sheltered Edward Snowden in Hong Kong granted Canada refugee status

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A woman who helped shelter former CIA whistle blower Edward Snowden when he fled to Hong Kong is coming with her daughter to Canada after being granted refugee status.

Their lawyer Robert Tibbo said in a statement Monday that Vanessa Rodel and her daughter Keana will arrive in Toronto tonight following Canada’s acceptance of their 2016 refugee application.

Rodel was part of a group that became known as Snowden’s “Guardian Angels.” They helped the fugitive at Tibbo’s request in 2013, when the whistleblower fled to Hong Kong after leaking classified information about the U.S. National Security Administration.

At the time, they were being represented by Tibbo in Hong Kong as they sought asylum. Tibbo has stated that their applications had been rejected by Hong Kong.

A non-profit group called For the Refugees filed applications to sponsor all seven to come to Canada as refugees and has been raising money for their living expenses in Hong Kong. The group is calling on Canada to accept the applications for the remaining five people.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland told reporters today that she could not comment on privately sponsored refugee applications.