Jul 27 2007

S.I. Activists Imprisoned and Blackmailed by the Icelandic State

Police station banners

Saving Iceland
24 July 2007

The Icelandic government and ALCOA are beginning to line up political prisoners with their repression of protests against the heavy industry policy.

A twenty three year old British Saving Iceland activist who was arrested today on the action against Rio Tinto-Alcan, has been imprisoned for eight days.

Apparently the activist was told by the Icelandic police that she was to pay a 100.000 kronur (£840) fine for her involvement in protests against ALCOA in the east of Iceland in the summer of 2006, or face prison. She chose the latter.

The third S. I. protestor to be imprisoned is an Icelandic 21 year old. (The first S.I. activist imprisoned was Paul Gill in 2005.) He is to sit in jail for 18 days, in August for protesting against the then still illegal ALCOA smelter in Reydarfjordur.

Other foreign protesters are now having their passports held at ransom by the police for fines based on accusations for obstructing the police, but no actual charges. According to a high ranking policeman this is the first time that the Icelandic police do this. It seems to be the routine with the Icelandic police that they repeatedly break their own laws in the almost certain hope they won’t be caught out. This is yet another sign of the corruption that results from the close ties between the State and the judicial system in Iceland.

Here at Saving Iceland we seem to remember that passports are the property of the States that they are issued by.

Thus, the Icelandic police may actually be breaching international law by blackmailing foreign citizens who are just exercising their democratic right to protest peacefully against the corrupt heavy industry policy that this new government continues to maintain.

In March this year the Left-Green party in Iceland called for an independent investigation into the conduct of the Icelandic police against Saving Iceland protesters in the the years of 2005 and 2006. At the same time the Left-Green party also expressed serious concern about the conduct of the police in the coming summer of 2007. Clearly not without reason.

It is high time that the autocratic and frequently violent methods of the Icelandic police against peaceful protesters come under serious scrutiny.

No Responses to “S.I. Activists Imprisoned and Blackmailed by the Icelandic State”

  1. Anonymous says:

    I made a film for Al Jazeera – English about the banking system in Iceland and how the economy runs on cheap Japanese credit and may not be sustainable… This film will debut on AJE on August 1st. You may find this interesting as an adjunct to the Saving Iceland campaign.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Just to say HUGE solidarity to you, be brave and hold on to the fact that this campaign is getting stronger and stronger.

    From what i’ve been reading it looks shit hot out there!

    Well done to all you guys for the time, energy and commitment you’ve put in, it’s definitely paid off.