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Iceland Congress puts forward bill to grant Snowden citizenship

One day before members of the Icelandic Parliament are due to break for summer vacation, leaders of three political parties have submitted a special piece of legislation which would make NSA whistleblower and fugitive, Edward Snowden, a citizen of Iceland.

The issue was raised this morning by MP and former Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson, which could be decided before the weekend.

Some are worried that this bill could be delayed by a piece of fisheries legislation which is also up for vote this Friday.

Although the bill is being backed by three parties, Brighter Future, Piran (Pirate Party) and the Green Party, there is still a possibility that the Snowden bill could be stopped by the current ruling coalition of the Conservative and Moderate parties.



  • dailymail.co.uk: Background/Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson Facebook statement
  • RT: Haven for Snowden: Icelandic Pirate Party pushes for granting citizenship
  • Icelandic legislator's blog: Bill sponsors/Snowden's response

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    I received an email response from

    Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson, Pirate Party member. She was responding to a mass email I sent out earlier today to all members of the parliament. I posted it as a separate post, but in case that post is not viewed, here is the entire email:

    Hello there, Ms. XXXX.

    Thank you for your kind words and faith in the truth being known. The Pirate Party in Iceland has been trying to assist Mr. Snowden but unfortunately there's not much we can do.

    Let me share with you what happened yesterday in the parliament of Iceland.

    On the evening of July 3rd, 2013, the Pirate Party of Iceland received confirmation that Mr. Snowden had indeed requested asylum in Iceland although the government of Iceland did not recognize it formally. We have known for a long time that there is no legally safe way for him to either land in or remain in Iceland because of an extradition treaty that Iceland has with the United States. Therefore, his only hope to stay here is via citizenship, since according to the constitution, an Icelandic citizen cannot be extradited or forced out of the country by any legal means.

    Building on the bill which was passed by parliament to provide a citizenship to Bobby Fischer in 2005, the Pirate Party in Iceland prepared a bill to give citizenship to Mr. Snowden. We spoke to members of other parties hoping that they would co-sponsor the bill with us, and subsequently, the following members of parliament were added as sponsors of the bill: Ögmundur Jónasson from the Leftist-Greens, Helgi Hjörvar from the Social Democrats and then finally Páll Valur Björnsson from Bright Future. No one in the parties in government showed any interest in being a part of this enterprise, but we made sure to ask them.

    But the problem was of course that July 4th was the last day of this parliamentary session and the agenda had already been set throughout the day through an agreement between all parties except us in the Pirate Party. As we understood it, that agreement had already been broken because of various other matters in parliament which were bothering pretty much everyone, but were still entirely unrelated to the Snowden case. In any case, we spoke to the president of the parliament (I believe they're called "chairmen" in most other countries), Einar K. Guðfinnsson, who is a member of the Independence Party (one of the two government parties, alongside the Progressive Party) about putting the bill for Snowden's citizenship on the agenda, but after some consideration, he refused.

    We then sent in a formal motion before parliament to have a vote on putting it on the agenda. Note that this was not the bill itself. This was merely a proposal to put the bill on the parliamentary agenda. Our main goal was to ensure that it would be on the agenda in the General Committee and also on the parliamentary agenda this fall when parliament convenes again.

    It was this motion, to put the bill on the agenda, which failed yesterday on July 4th, 2013 before parliament.

    This fall, I will be presenting the case before the General Committee, hoping that the members of that committee will be sympathetic to Mr. Snowden's case and that in due course, once we've managed to brief enough people in parliament, that we will be able to put it back on the agenda assuming that Mr. Snowden will still be both needing and wanting an Icelandic citizenship at that point in time. Obviously, no one know what the situation will be at that point, so the future is currently entirely unclear.

    So, to be absolutely clear on what exactly happened on July 4th, 2013, in the Icelandic parliament:

    1. Having received confirmation of Snowden's application for asylum in Iceland, the Pirate Party *prepared* the bill - but note that it does not automatically become part of the parliamentary agenda.

    2. We tried to get it on the agenda on the same day by asking the president of the parliament, since this was the last day in session. He refused.

    3. We then tried getting it on the agenda by proposing a vote on whether to put it on the agenda.

    4. After some discourse in parliament, where the opposition was entirely sympathetic to Mr. Snowden but the government parties were not, the parliament of Iceland refused to put the bill on the agenda.

    The parties which agreed were: The Pirate Party, Social Democrats, Leftist-Greens and Bright Future.
    The parties which refused were: The Independence Party and the Progressive Party.

    So right now we're exactly where were were on July 2nd. The bill never made it to the agenda and has therefore NOT been voted on, although the attitudes of the ruling parties has become uncomfortably clear.

    Kind regards,
    Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson

    Question for anyone that could answer it

    Does this mean that if he could get there they wouldn't consider asylum?

    SteveMT's picture

    Iceland Denies Snowden's Bid For Citizenship

    So much for Iceland's bid as the world safe haven from government (and intellectual status quo) persecution. The tiny country that was such a vocal supporter of Julian Assange, and which originally was speculated as being the final destination of Snowden upon his departure from Hong Kong, has just opined on his request for Icelandic citizenship, and the answer is a resounding no, following the country's "parliament voted not to debate it before the summer recess" Reuters reports.

    Too, too bad. They dropped the ball on this one.

    But the did take in the great Bobby Fischer when the U.S. was chasing him all over the globe for playing chess in Yugoslavia.

    After the rotted State Department sent him a letter foridding him to play (back in 1992), due to U.N. sanctions on that country, Fischer SPIT on it, wadded it up and tossed it on the floor.

    "That's what I think of that." he said.

    Fischer is buried in Iceland who took him in after the Japanese had arrested him on an expired passport charge.

    He claimed he was poisoned (with radioactivity) by the Japanese while in prison there and he died within 2 years of arriving in Iceland.

    So instead of treating Fischer like the first ever American Chess Champion in history that he was, the government called him names and hunted him down for years - FOR PLAYING CHESS.

    "We have allowed our nation to be over-taxed, over-regulated, and overrun by bureaucrats. The founders would be ashamed of us for what we are putting up with."
    -Ron Paul

    SteveMT's picture

    Bobby Fischer should be a national hero, IMO.

    He was a phenomenal chess prodigy who proved that he was in a class by himself when it came to understanding the game of chess. I think he could have stalemated or even beaten Deep Blue.

    Where is Iceland?....they seem to truly be in a deep freeze about doing the right thing with Snowden.

    Thanks for the Bobby Fischer Tribute. I followed every game he had with Boris Spassky in 1972. What a time that was for the chess world!

    Refused to consider.....



    Jonsdottir now writes that the parliament has refused to put Snowden’s citizenship on its agenda before adjourning for the summer. “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,” Jonsdottir writes. “The parliament wont be coming together again until the 10th of September.”


    ....one after another....countries bending down to the SUPER TYRANT.

    This isn't democracy. We aren't a Republic. This is world fascism led by a Super Tyrant.

    Email addresses for Iceland's Members of Parliament

    Birgitta Jónsdóttir who protected Wikileaks and Julian Assange

    Iceland's Members of Parliament
    rea@althingi.is, ragnheidurr@althingi.is, marshall@althingi.is, sdg@althingi.is, sii@althingi.is, sigrunm@althingi.is, sij@althingi.is, siljadogg@althingi.is, sjs@althingi.is, svandiss@althingi.is, ubk@althingi.is, vbj@althingi.is, valgerdurg@althingi.is, vigdish@althingi.is, vilhjalmura@althingi.is, vilhjalmurb@althingi.is, willumthor@althingi.is, thorunne@althingi.is, ogmundur@althingi.is, ossur@althingi.is, illugig@althingi.is, johannas@althingi.is, jong@althingi.is, jonthor@althingi.is, karlg@althingi.is, katrinja@althingi.is, katrinj@althingi.is, klm@althingi.is, kristjanj@althingi.is, lrm@althingi.is, lineikanna@althingi.is, oddnyh@althingi.is, ottarrp@althingi.is, pallp@althingi.is, pallvalur@althingi.is, petur@althingi.is, elsalara@althingi.is, eygloha@althingi.is, frostis@althingi.is, gudbjarturh@althingi.is, gudlaugurthor@althingi.is, gudmundurst@althingi.is, gunnarbragi@althingi.is, hannabirna@althingi.is, haraldurb@althingi.is, haraldure@althingi.is, helgih@althingi.is, helgihrafn@althingi.is, hoskuldurth@althingi.is, arnipall@althingi.is, arnithor@althingi.is, asmundurd@althingi.is , asmundurf@althingi.is, birgir@althingi.is, birgittaj@althingi.is, bjarkeyg@althingi.is, bjarniben@althingi.is, bjorto@althingi.is, brynhildurp@althingi.is, brynjarn@althingi.is, einarg@althingi.is, elinhirst@althingi.is, thorsteinns@althingi.is,

    Liberty Vigilante

    Wow, thanks for doing this;

    I just sent out a mass email to them. Not as good as individual ones, but better than nothing and time is short.

    Thank you... I also discovered after the fact :-/

    Unfortunately I didn't learn about the Icelandic use of family names (father's son, mother's daughter, etc.) until I had completed the mailing... but I did include with each one an apology if I had not properly addressed them as to their traditional protocol.

    Someone posted that the proposal failed? I hope that is not the case.

    Prayers for Edward...

    Gwen Kraft

    "Personal Liberty & Personal Responsibility" -- Dr. Ron Paul

    "A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom." -- Bob Dylan

    Did you get any responses?

    I did a mass email this morning and I got one response so far: posted above and in a separate post.


    for all of that hard work. I did post a comment on Brigitta's blog.

    I understand the proposal

    I understand the proposal failed.



    Forbes' link

    It looks like the Bill is still alive, and members of Parliament still have time to consider. http://www.forbes.com/sites/andygreenberg/2013/07/04/edward-...

    Petition? Is there one? Link please.

    Gwen Kraft

    "Personal Liberty & Personal Responsibility" -- Dr. Ron Paul

    "A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom." -- Bob Dylan

    Update.... Icelandic Proponents Need Help!

    I think Moxy has this right... US petition/encouragement needed


    Werd UP

    Iceland continues to impress.

    This is the best 4th of July News! We Love You Iceland for Step

    ping up to the plate! Praise God and hoping this gets passed by their Congress. This news today had to ruin Obama and Friends 4th of July today, and tomorrow and the next day... Ha Ha Liberty wins again! We love you Snowden!!!


    Id send some money to Iceland govt

    If they did that.

    how dare iceland have laws

    how dare iceland have laws regarding citizenship and immigration.

    iceland should open citizenship up to everyone. controlling immigration, citizenship, and capital flows into a country is statist and tyrannical.

    this tiny country needs to throw open its borders and markets to 100% free flow of individuals and goods.

    that would inevitably produce the most libertarian outcome politically, legally, and economically.

    /anarchocap fantasy.

    good to see good people using government effectively for a public purpose while at the same time maintaining a high level of personal liberty.

    I am so wowed by this..it is

    I am so wowed by this..it is so obvious that the world hates the US now..I wonder if anyone but us sees this..?

    If you get your news from UN propeganda

    that would be true. If you go outside that box, you will see that is not true.. the world hopes Americans will wake up, the oil producers and controllers hope you come to hate America, as it will make it easier to take from you.

    Iceland Parliament Members & e-Addresses

    This website lists the Iceland Parliament Members with individual links to biographies and e-mail addresses:


    It will take some time to write to every one of them. But a few lines of support toward granting Snowden Icelandic citizenship may be helpful.

    Peace to all,
    Happy Independence Day!

    Gwen Kraft

    "Personal Liberty & Personal Responsibility" -- Dr. Ron Paul

    "A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom." -- Bob Dylan

    I've started writing, but wonder about Protocol -- (Honorable?)

    I'm adding a post script to my post above. I've started sending e-mails, short and pleasant in support of Snowden citizenship. I've searched the Internet to see how to address the Members of Parliament in Iceland, but did not find anything. So, I'm using "Honorable (last name)."

    If someone knows the address protocol, please enlighten me.

    It looks like I can complete the list, writing each one individually, in about 3 hours. I'm not sending one mass e-mail, but addressing each member in a single e-mail.

    Gwen Kraft

    "Personal Liberty & Personal Responsibility" -- Dr. Ron Paul

    "A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom." -- Bob Dylan

    Finished... took about 4 hours with server drops sometimes !

    I finished writing the letters. I used the individual's last name with Honorable in front of it, then I added special positions, Prime Minister, Chairman of .... Committee, Minister... of...Dept.. and so on to acknowledge any additional responsibilities. Impressive individuals.. if one can go by their photos... They look healthy & happy.

    There were times when the server wasn't available. Maybe they are getting lots of letters. I hope so!

    Ahhh, what a happy Fourth it is for me. Missed the fireworks, but got the letters done in support of Edward J Snowden. I hope he finds Iceland his new home and country.

    Gwen Kraft

    "Personal Liberty & Personal Responsibility" -- Dr. Ron Paul

    "A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom." -- Bob Dylan

    Icelanding surnames

    Icelandic surnames are not really family names as they are in most cultures. In Iceland, the surname is just the father's name followed by "son" or "dottir" depending on whether the person is a man or woman respectively. Not knowing much more about Icelandic culture, I would use the full name.

    Drain the swamp!

    FISHING is the primary industry

    Reason they kicked the Bankster's out is because between 2003 - 2007 Iceland began to be known as a successful financial banking center, instead of for fishing.... Thanks to the likes of Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, etc.

    So, now Iceland is getting back to business....and recovering from the death throes of the crooked bank cons.

    Debbie's picture

    It could be delayed by a piece of fisheries legislation??



    shows the priorities of the people

    The people of Iceland care a bit more about their own livelihood than granting Snowden citizenship. I don't particularly fault them for it. How can you?

    I wonder though, his passports been revoked but he is still a citizen. Would renouncing his citizenship here be good or bad if they grant him Icelandic citizenship?

    Homeland security statement: patriotism is now considered terrorism.
    I love www.isidewith.com shared it with everyone I know. If anything they realize its not just a red and blue idiot running for reelection.

    Debbie's picture

    Understood, thanks. Thanks to cepivon too, and no, I don't

    fault them for it. :)