WASHINGTON -- Julian Assange, the founder of the antisecrecy organization WikiLeaks, said on Sunday that even as Edward J. Snowden remained in diplomatic limbo at a Moscow airport, the disclosures from the classified documents he took as a National Security Agency contractor would continue.
"Look, there is no stopping the publishing process at this stage," Mr. Assange said on the ABC News program "This Week." "Great care has been taken to make sure that Mr. Snowden can't be pressured by any state to stop the publication process."
The fallout from Mr. Snowden's revelations widened this weekend as the German magazine Der Spiegel reported that the United States had eavesdropped on European Union offices in Washington, Brussels and at the United Nations in New York.
Mr. Assange, speaking from the Ecuadorean Embassy in London where he has been ensconced for more than a year after being granted asylum, praised Mr. Snowden's actions and compared his plight with his own. He said Mr. Snowden was likely to be indicted by a federal grand jury in Alexandria, Va., that Mr. Assange said was "made up of the C.I.A., Pentagon."
"He is a hero," Mr. Assange said of Mr. Snowden. "He has told the people of the world and the United States that there is mass unlawful interception of their communications, far beyond anything that happened under Nixon."
WikiLeaks played no role in Mr. Snowden's disclosures, but since joining forces with him, the organization has used his case to raise its own profile again.
By Mr. Assange's account, WikiLeaks helped obtain and deliver a special refugee travel document to Mr. Snowden in Hong Kong that, with his American passport revoked, may be important if the he is allowed to leave Moscow. Mr. Snowden has sought asylum in Ecuador, but that country's president, Rafael Correa, has said that any travel document given to Mr. Snowden was "not authorized."
A British WikiLeaks activist, Sarah Harrison, accompanied Mr. Snowden on the Aeroflot airliner that carried him from Hong Kong to Moscow.
Asked about Mr. Snowden's current status in Moscow, Mr. Assange said that the situation was "a very sensitive one," adding, "It's a matter of international diplomatic negotiations, so there's little that I can productively say about what is happening directly."
Mr. Assange said that Mr. Snowden should be free to seek asylum where he can because his actions are political, not criminal, despite the espionage charges the United States has brought against him.
"He has acted in a manner to draw attention to a very serious problem in the United States, where, without the will of Congress, without the will of the American population, we now have a state within a state, we have the transnational surveillance apparatus," Mr. Assange said.
"Ideally he should be able to return to the United States," he added. "Unfortunately, that's not the world that we live in, and hopefully another country will give him the justice that he deserves."
Mr. Assange seemed to suggest that by canceling Mr. Snowden's passport, leaving him "for the moment marooned in Russia," the United States had inadvertently handed the Russian spy services a potential bonanza if they exploited, as expected, the hard drives on the four laptops Mr. Snowden is believed to be carrying. "Is that really a great outcome by the State Department?" Mr. Assange said.
Asked about the fears expressed by senior American officials, including Secretary of State John Kerry, that the N.S.A. revelations could jeopardize the lives of unnamed individuals and allow terrorists to alter their means of communication to avoid detection, Mr. Assange was dismissive.
"I myself was subject to precisely this rhetoric two, three years ago, and it all proved to be false," he said. "No one from any government says that any of our revelations in the past six years has caused anyone to come to physical harm."
That assertion may be true, government officials and human rights advocates say, but they also noted that it's uncertain whether some individuals identified directly or obliquely by the release of the WikiLeaks military and diplomatic documents in 2010 may have suffered some harm without public attention.
"I can't imagine a government anywhere on the planet who now believes we can keep a secret," Michael V. Hayden, a former director of the N.S.A. and C.IA., said on the CBS News program "Face the Nation."
In sometimes testy exchanges with George Stephanopoulos, the host of "This Week," Mr. Assange found himself on the defensive in trying to explain Ecuador's human rights record and to counter accusations that WikiLeaks was manipulating Mr. Snowden.
Mr. Snowden's father told NBC News this week that in a letter to Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr., he said his son might agree to return to the United States to stand trial on espionage charges if certain conditions were met.
The father, Lonnie Snowden, who said he had not spoken with his son since April, said that he was "concerned about those who surround him," specifically advisers from WikiLeaks. "I think WikiLeaks, if you've looked at past history, their focus isn't necessarily the Constitution of the United States," Mr. Snowden said. "It's simply to release as much information as possible."
Mr. Assange said on Sunday that he sympathized with the elder Mr. Snowden -- "as a parent, of course he is worried in this situation" -- and said that WikiLeaks had contacted Lonnie Snowden's lawyer "to put some of his concerns to rest."
This article originally appeared in The New York Times.