Rumours that Edward Snowden is dead have been quelled by his Russian lawyer who says the US whistleblower was "alive and well".
"I can authoritatively say that he is alive and well, he is living in Russia and is busy with his favourite work," said Anatoly Kucherena, according to the Russian state news agency RIA Novosti on Monday.
The rumours began to swirl on Friday after a mysterious 64-character tweet appeared on Snowden's Twitter account and was then deleted, setting off speculation that he had been kidnapped or even killed.
The former National Security Agency (NSA) contractor, who currently has asylum in Russia, is wanted by the US government since 2013 on espionage charges for exposing extensive telephone and internet data collection programs used by the NSA.
Glenn Greenwald, a journalist who helped Snowden to leak details of the programmes, had tweeted Saturday that the whistleblower was fine.