Friday, July 05, 2013

Snowden will not get citizenship in Iceland :(

I have been waiting for some time to get an official request from Edward Snowden in regard for application for Icelandic citizenship. Yesterday the request came, and me and members of 4 parties in the Icelandic parliament put forward a bill urging the parliament to process his request.

It is important to put current political situation in Iceland into perspective. We had election April 27th this year. After elections we always have summer parliament session. The newly elected government is very different from the last government that was elected in the wake of the financial collapse. This new government intentions is to bring us back to the same form of governing as we had before and lead us to the 3rd largest financial collapse in the history of the world. Non of the wisdom nor the attempts for democratic reform and more open society we gained just after the collapse will stick under the reign of this new governing.

Yesterday was the last day of summer parliament and thus utterly critical that we would be allowed to speak for the Snowden citizenship bill in order to move it to the General committee in order to be able to start fact gathering on behalf of the parliament so we could move this bill forward despite the parliament not being in session. The new speaker of the house denied our request to put the bill on the agenda yesterday. I put forward a motion for the parliament to vote for it to be spoken for. The entire majority said NO to this process, except for 5 who said neither yes or no. The entire minority supported the motion but that was not enough.

So it is with great grief I have to announce that Snowden will not be getting any form of shelter in Iceland because the current government doesnt even have enough spine for the parliament to discuss Snowden´s request. The parliament wont be coming together again until the 10th of September.

I hope we have set an example for other parliaments that remain is session this summer or gather sooner then ours to give Snowden citizenship for he has been made stateless by his own government for blowing the whistle on grave human rights violations by his and other governments against all of humanity. I am thankful towards the minority parties in Iceland for supporting the Pirate Party and of course Snowden in this attempt to help him. I and many others regard him as a hero and have deep respect for him for he has taken great personal risk in order to inform the rest of us about how those in power have lost control of their powerlust and violated their own constitutions against their own citizens. 

Mr Snowden your courage has been noted and there are millions of people from all backgrounds who honor the risks you have taken for us and we will stand tall with you. 

Thursday, July 04, 2013

Will Snowden get Icelandic Citizenship any time soon?

Today all the members of the Icelandic Pirate Party and members from 3 other parties, including party chair of the Social Democrats and former Interior Minister put forward in the Icelandic Parliament a bill to urge the parliament to grant Edward J. Snowden citizenship. The parliament has finally received a request for citizenship from Mr Snowden and many of the parliamentarians believe it is their duty to offer Mr Snowden shelter for his USA passport has been stripped from him and has been left de-facto stateless by his own government. The parliamentarians and many Icelanders share the same concerns as Amnesty International that if extradited to the USA Mr Snowden could be at risk of ill-treatment and possibly a subject of torture. No one should be charged for disclosing information of human rights violations. Such disclosures are protected under the rights to information and freedom of expression. The current governmental parties did not have the guts to co-sponsor the bill, however they still have time to change their minds, since the parliament is heading into recess. The reason for the delay in putting forward the bill is that the parliament had not received a formal request from Snowden until today. It is impossible to predict if Snowden will be granted citizenship, this is more of a statement for the time being and an encouragement to the governmental parties to stand tall for human rights and by those that call upon our doors while faced with grave danger.

The following parties and members of parliament sponsored the bill of granting Snowden citizenship.

The Pirate Party, Birgitta Jónsdóttir, Party Group Chair, Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson, Jón Þór Ólafsson
The Left Greens, Ögmundur Jónasson, Interior Minister 2012 - 2013
Social Democrats, Helgi Hjörvar, Party Group Chair
Bright Future, Páll Valur Björnsson

Statement form Snowden the sponsors of the bill received tonight

July 4th 2013
To: The Icelandic Parliament

I want to extend my gratitude to the Icelandic parliament for
considering my request for Icelandic citizenship. I have been
left defacto-stateless by my own government after communicating with
the public. I appreciate that Iceland, a small but significant country
in the world community, shows such courage and commitment to its higher
laws and ideals. I am heartened to feel the support of the Icelandic
people whom I know have a long history of standing firm, even under
threats of aggression, when basic principles are at stake.

Edward Joseph Snowden