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


Bill Owen said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bill Owen said...

What are the chances of this happening Birgitta? My impression is that it seems unlikely.

If it does not pass, why not? What is the issue?

Alfredo said...

I wish you and the other brave souls the best of luck.

Anonymous said...

Good luck. It is a great example of courage. Greetings from Mexico.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Snowden is not stateless. He remains a citizen of the United States. When citizens are charged with felony crimes, their passports are revoked. Consequently, as he has been charged with felony crimes, Snowden's passport has been revoked. But he is free--indeed, required--to return to his country. The United States is a democracy with an independent judiciary, and there are no grounds for Iceland, or any other country, to interfere with its regular judicial processes.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Snowden is not stateless. He remains a citizen of the United States. When citizens are charged with felony crimes, their passports are revoked. Consequently, as he has been charged with felony crimes, Snowden's passport has been revoked. But he is free--indeed, required--to return to his country. The United States is a democracy with an independent judiciary, and there are no grounds for Iceland, or any other country, to interfere with its regular judicial processes.

Bill Owen said...

To the anonymous super patriot.

Passports are NOT revoked on a felony charge, that's a total lie.

His passport was revoked with any due process whatsoever.

No wonder he doesn't want to go back for a show trial.

He is a hero, you are a cowardly louse.

Bill Owen said...

Birgitta would you please install Disqus for your comments? Blogger comments are horrible. It's easy to do.

Anonymous said...

@Anonymous @Bill Owen

Never mind the passport controversy, Anonymous is correct in saying that Snowden is still a US citizen. I assume that's why Snowden himself writes that he is "defacto" stateless. However, his currently being a US citizen shouldn't be an obstacle for adopting a new citizenship, since most countries either allow dual citizenship or require new citizens to drop all other citizenships upon being naturalized.

I commend Iceland for these efforts, now there's a progressive country.

Anonymous said...

As an American, I hope Iceland will be able to provide Snowden with asylum. I fear that if not Iceland, Snowden will have no where he can go to seek safety. Thank you.

Elzo Valugi said...

he can renounce the american nationality...

Lee said...

It seems unlikely, but I certainly hope Iceland will grant Snowden citizenship.

(And yes, I am an American.)

Farmorgun said...

With people like you and the Icelandic there is hope for the world. Keep up the good work!

Orneon said...

@Anonymous : The United States is a democracy ? Is that a joke ?
Demos = people
Kratos = power

Do you really think the people of the USA have political power ? To elect a political master every "X" years isn't political power...

Anonymous said...

Evidently lots of people want to help Edward Snowden but they are afraid of the consequences, does the American government have no shame, their behaviour towards their own citizens and toward the people of the world is illegal and tyrannical and yet even when their wrongdoing is exposed they answer it with more sociopathic bullying.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for attempting to help Edward Snowden. I am a US citizen and I consider him a hero. He has renewed my belief in the younger generation: he is intelligent, honest, and brave. I fear for his safety if he is forced to return here. Please, people of Iceland, stand strong.

Anonymous said...

@Bill Owen

What are you talking about?

From the US Dept of State:

Passport revocation may be effected when the person obtained the passport fraudulently, when the passport was issued in error, when the person’s certificate of naturalization was cancelled by a federal court, or when the person would not be entitled to a new passport under 22 CFR 51.70 (a) or (b).

Since at least 1 (and possibly 2) of the items in the post you linked to are the reasons stated in 22 CFR 51.70 (a) or (b) the US government CAN revoke your passport. (•The person is under federal arrest or a felony-related subpoena, •The person is forbidden to get a passport by a court order, probation, or parole;
•The person is forbidden to leave the United States.

Due process has nothing to do with it as long as the revocation was done in conformance to the law. He is, and remains a citizen of the United State until such time as he renounces the same, and any attempt to claim 'defacto statelessness' because of a revoked passport is pure bunk.

We can debate the merits of his disclosure, and the rightful charges that may/will be brought against him in a court of law where he will be entitled to due process before a jury of his peers.

Anonymous said...

Snowden should be a Hero!! At least he is by a lot of citizens. He unvealed information that our government, the one we are supposed to be in charge of is hiding things from us that should NOT be hidden! Our government is interfering with our rights! and Snowden took it upon himself and SACRIFICED his livelihood to bring us the TRUTH! GO SNOWDEN!!!

Anonymous said...

Please don't be afraid of The United States. Unfortunately, our government decides what they are going to do on their own, instead of listening to their people! The U.S. has its hands in almost every country on the planet, bribing and paying them "assistance" to keep them on our good sides. Snowden is a hero, and should NOT be punished.

zelda said...

I do hope that Iceland offers Snowden asylum. I am in my 70’s and I have never been so disappointed by my country. We have tortured people in foreign countries, we are holding people without trial in Guantanamo, for the first year of Bradley Manning imprisonment, he was tortured. It is no wonder that Mr. Snowden does not wish to return to the US. He would not receive an fair trial under this justice system. The US has even forced a country to demand that another countries presidential plane be forced to land and be searched. I wonder how our country would feel if Air Force I was forced to land and be searched.
My husband is of Viking heritage and very proud of that. We have long admired Iceland and I do hope that they surprise us all and stand up for Snowden and stand up to the US.
My country had become “She who will be obeyed.” Or else...

Anonymous said...

Snowden has not been left stateless. Snowden chose to betray his government by going abroad to slander without actual proof and play on the paranoia of many rather than report whatever wrong doing he believes to have been committed to US authorities. To not admit this basic truth is indicative of the psychology and immaturity of Mr. Snowden. No one has denied his citizenship nor taken any rights away from him that are not taken away from any American accused of a crime against his country. It is standard protocol and not personal to Mr. Snowden despite his desire to be a rock star.

The US has agencies both public and private that could have initiated an investigation if need be. His actions were and continue to be reckless. He would truly be courageous if he stopped being a coward. If he truly thinks he has information that will change the world then he should release it in the US where it can do the most good. America is not a dictatorship and his life is certainly not in danger despite the immature rants to imply this.

Mr. courageous and return to the US to face the American public and judicial system. If you truly believe that you are in the right, let the people and courts decide your level of responsibility based on the evidence.

Warren Currah said...

Snowden has exposed crime committed by my own government against me! This behavior by Snowden is beyond patriotic. He is a hero and the USA public knows it! Fear of government retaliation is the only emotion keeping us from throwing him a heroes parade!!!

Anonymous said...

@ My predecessor Anonymous

"without actual proof" -- You can't be serious.

"report [...] to US authorities" -- Since the US is purportedly a democracy, it is Mr. Snowden's contention that the public should decide whether the current intelligence operations go too far. That is by definition impossible if they are kept secret, even to most members of congress. Many people agree with Mr. Snowden, including the 26 US senators who recently sent a letter to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper arguing that the NSA and other intelligence services operate outside of lawmakers' purview. If Mr. Snowden had "reported [his findings] to US authorities," what do you think would have happened? The public would still be in the dark. If you think those intelligence operations are legal, fine -- then let's have a public discussion about them, and let the lawmakers decide. But don't keep them secret. Snowden did the only thing he could do to reach the public.

"The US has agencies both public and private that could have initiated an investigation if need be." -- Against the NSA? Really? Which agencies would that be? Local law enforcement? The FBI? There is NO WAY Snowden wouldn't have been arrested and dumped into a dark black hole the moment he had revealed to anybody that he had uncovered wrongdoing by the NSA. "In the name of national security." If you think otherwise, walk me through it. What exactly should he have done, with the outcome that he'd remain a free man and the public would be informed of what the NSA is actually doing.

"His life is certainly not in danger." -- What if he is charged with treason? Treason is punishable by the death penalty. Can you absolutely rule that out?

Anonymous said...

It's already been said he didn't get Iceland to accept him. I believe he shouldn't of left. Bradley Manning and all the other whistleblowers are here... he would have had more support here. Now he's in the middle of countries trying to find someplace to go? Very few if any, will turn against the US to accept this guy. I believe he'll end up back here willingly or not. Next time someone does something like this, better to plan your escape.. get citizenship first in another country. He's only had his passport revoked, he's still a citizen here. I dunno. How many more embassies can take run away people from the US without creating a whole Whistleblower country of their own?

Anonymous said...


minnesotaman said...

Contrary to what he says, Snow den was not left stateless by his government. He made himself stateless. As much as I agree that his leaks needed to occur, he can't cry foul. He knew the stakes when he broke the law. His country would gladly have him back, but he doesn't want to face the punishment that would entail. Iceland denying his request is absolutely the right course of action.

Anonymous said...

He'll end up someplace besides here.. but they won't make it easy for him.. and he'll never be able to come back here.

Anonymous said...

Dear 8:42pm and 8:25pm,

Americans were told of the surveillance years ago with the passing of the Patriot Act. Wether they chose to research the bill is another story. Those 26 posturing senators also voted on the act but now attempt to distance themselves from accountability by claiming ignorance for something they voted for. Shame on them and shame on Americans for not paying more attention. None of this is a surprise not is it a danger or some huge coverup. That's what makes this whole incident silly. The guy is no hero and he is not reporting anything that several other countries do not do themselves. If he is a hero to anyone, I ask that they get more involved in what is going on around you legislatively. American Civil Liberties groups have been sending mail to Americans for at least the last 6 years to get American's opinions on whether they feel the Patriot Act is a breach of privacy. The last two US Presidential elections was accompanied by mass mailings again. Apparently the American's that were clueless just aren't involved in watching news or reading much about the country. No offense at all, perhaps they are very busy on Facebook or something.

Nevertheless, since we are here now and people know, perhaps those who feel angry can ask Congress to limit the data that all companies automatically collect on citizens for no good reason other than to sell it. The truth is, the government does need to gather your data directly, it can easily rely on the vast amount of data legally floating out here.

rs gold said...

As a possible United states, I hope Iceland should be able to offer Snowden along with asylum. I fear that when not Iceland, Snowden will have simply no where the guy can head to find basic safety. Many thanks.

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Amal said...

good work, wish all the best

séjour marrakech

Anonymous said...

My heart felt desire is that Iceland will embrace Snowden and protect him. Hundreds of thousands of Americans will be grateful as we protest our government's shameful actions,

Ralf said...


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