May 12 2011

German MP Appeals to Icelandic Authorities to Come Clean About Spying on Saving Iceland

Statement issued by German Linke MP Andrej Hunko sent to all Icelandic MPs and media.

International infiltration of protest movements to be investigated

“I appeal to the Icelandic authorities to bring to light, in their investigations, the covert activities of foreign police in Iceland. Given that the British police spy Mark Kennedy was active not only in Germany, but also in France, Italy, Poland, Ireland and Iceland, it is obvious that these operations targeted left-wing activists with international links,” said Andrej Hunko, Member of the German Parliament, after gathering new evidence on Kennedy’s activities in Iceland.

Hunko continued:

“I’m glad to see investigations by activists and parliamentarians in their countries to uncover the cross-border efforts to infiltrate anti-capitalist groups. But most interior ministries in the EU member states are remaining silent about their cooperation or are giving conflicting responses.

I’m also glad that the Icelandic minister of the interior has instructed the police to file a report about Mark Kennedy’s infiltration of the Saving Iceland network. After examining more evidence provided by Saving Iceland last week, including a photo that shows Kennedy with Icelandic police officers, it seems that the authorities were at least aware of British undercover police infiltrating the protests against the Kárahnjúkar dams.

In Germany, Mark Kennedy fooled both activists and the police by setting fire to a dumpster at a demonstration. Committing crimes is forbidden for police officers in Germany and in Great Britain.

The local Berlin police were not informed about Kennedy’s true identity, according to the Berlin senator with responsibility for the police, Erhard Körting. Even Berlin’s public prosecution office, which investigated the fire, was deceived and given the false name of ‘Mark Stone’. The legal proceedings were later dropped on the grounds that the arson was considered a ‘minor crime’.

The German Government has now said in its answer to my recent parliamentary question that spying on protest movements has the purpose of proactive monitoring of potential future wrongdoing, implying that there is a link between anti-globalisation protests and parcel bombs. The chief of Germany’s Federal Criminal Police Office, Jörg Ziercke, told parliamentarians at a secret meeting that the police must act ‘covertly and internationally’ in future to fight against so-called ‘euro-anarchists’.

I am keen to read the Icelandic report soon, which hopefully will shed more light on the involvement of foreign police forces in British spying on protest movements. If the Icelandic police were not informed about the activities of foreign undercover police officers, this would represent a breach of international law and would have to be prosecuted.

Targeting protesters as ‘extremists’ and infiltrating them without respecting their privacy is a violation of their civil rights. If Kennedy recorded conversations, this would, I imagine, be another breach of the law, also in Iceland.

Following the revelation that British spies even engaged in relationships for tactical reasons in order to gain access to information, the British Home Office stripped the National Public Order Intelligence Unit (NPOIU) of its power to run undercover operations. The NPOIU is part of a police body that is known to have collected at least 2000 dossiers on left-wing activists. I am told by Saving Iceland that the Icelandic police have confirmed that they had relations with UK police forces regarding common workshops.

I hope that the foreign affairs and interior ministers, Össur Skarphéðinsson and Ögmundur Jónasson, will help to reveal the infiltration of protest movements. I appeal to the Icelandic police to make more details public and to respect activists’ demands for disclosure of any information that was collected about them.

National and international activists who were spied on by foreign and Icelandic police forces have the right to be notified of the surveillance after the fact.”


See also:

‘Stop the criminalisation of left-wing movements in Iceland! Freedom for the ‘Reykjavik 9’!’