Correction: An earlier version of this article said Ecuador has offered Edward Snowden asylum. No decision on the petition has been made yet. This version has been corrected.

WikiLeaks issued the following statement on Sunday, saying that Edward Snowden, who leaked National Security Agency documents, has sought political asylum in Ecuador:

Mr Edward Snowden, the American whistleblower who exposed evidence of a global surveillance regime conducted by US and UK intelligence agencies, has left Hong Kong legally. He is bound for the Republic of Ecuador via a safe route for the purposes of asylum, and is being escorted by diplomats and legal advisors from WikiLeaks.

Mr Snowden requested that WikiLeaks use its legal expertise and experience to secure his safety. Once Mr Snowden arrives in Ecuador his request will be formally processed.

Former Spanish Judge Mr Baltasar Garzon, legal director of Wikileaks and lawyer for Julian Assange has made the following statement:

“The WikiLeaks legal team and I are interested in preserving Mr Snowden’s rights and protecting him as a person. What is being done to Mr Snowden and to Mr Julian Assange — for making or facilitating disclosures in the public interest — is an assault against the people.”