43 votes

I received this email from Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson, Pirate Party, Iceland: RE: Edward Snowden

Earlier today I sent out a mass email asking the Icelandic Parliament to grant asylum to Edward Snowden. I just received this email back from one of the Pirate Party members explaining in detail what took place.

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

Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

why did they only submit the bill on July 4th?

. Could have done it two weeks ago?


they just got it. I wonder if wikileaks was playing games with it since they seemed to want Snowden to go to South America for some reason.

The Icelanders Tried Their Best..

Thanks for posting Puma..

Good to see you posting again..



I occasionally comment, but I have to be really fired-up about something to post. This is something I feel passionate about; I so admire Edward Snowden.

Probably I am now on the enemies list for sending that email out, I even thought about it before clicking the send button, but I decided I am not going to be afraid to speak out in what I thought was a free society.

Thank you Mr Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson!

For all of your efforts in preserving freedom!

Linda Cross's picture

Thank You Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson!

I am sure people all over the world appreciate your efforts :)

If you see something, say something, the government is listening.
Silence isn't golden, it's yellow.

You have my thanks also...

...for your effort!

Freedom is the ability to do what you want to do.
Liberty is the ability to do what you ought to do.
"Where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty." 2 Corinthians 3:17

He needs to marry the Russian babe

and be done with it. All his info is out there already so what is his problem ? She is clearly offering him an easy out. He should take it !

"If ever time should come, when vain and aspiring men shall possess the highest seats in Government, our country will stand in need of its experienced patriots to prevent its ruin."
Samuel Adams

Even if Snowden

is successful at finding a country to go to, it appears the obummer will scramble the jets and force his plane down...where he will be captured. Quite a problem.

Why is this not top of the Top Recent Topics?

It has gone from +6 to +20 in the last hour.

Another conspiracy theory!

Lord Acton, Lord Chief Justice of England, 1875 - "The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the People v. The Banks."

bigmikedude's picture

It may have been there already and gone.

It was posted a few hours ago.

I'm not sure what Jon has the refresh rate currently set at now for the Top Recents.


it hasn't.

bigmikedude's picture

Well, either way

it's FP'd now.

It may not have had enough votes in the time frame that it was eligible for Top Recent and just missed the slot because the votes came later than the current eligibility window, or other topics had more votes than this post in that duration before the next refresh period hit.

It was tongue in cheek

for the most part. But I wonder how the top recent comments work?

Lord Acton, Lord Chief Justice of England, 1875 - "The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the People v. The Banks."

I've wondered the same

It's doesnt seem to just go by the daily Paul market, it seems moderated to some extent

Wow! What a thorough and

Wow! What a thorough and thoughtful response. Not at all like the auto reply drivel most of our congress people respond with.

Gilligan's picture

"Are you a Libertarian?"

Nah ... I'm a Pirate! Arrgh!

Google is government.

oh'arrgh. A pirate i be!

oh'arrgh. A pirate i be!

Their party

Their party mascot is a parrot ;P

I have to give credit to Senator Burr of NC...

I emailed him about something, I can't remember what, a few months ago, and I got a two page response that did not sound like a form letter as he specifically responded to points I made and asked about.

No Kidding!

I have NEVER received a reply from and elected office holder like that.

Well done Puma

Thanks for the post.

Lord Acton, Lord Chief Justice of England, 1875 - "The issue which has swept down the centuries and which will have to be fought sooner or later is the People v. The Banks."

Your Welcome...



Does anyone else feel that the government of Iceland better represents both their citizens and ours, than our own government?

Technically, not the ones in

Technically, not the ones in power, their opposition, ive read a few things on other sites about the pirate party, and i liked what ive read........

Like any schmoe.

Our Congress represents it's creditors. 17 trillions worth.

I am sure a few here haven't crapped themselves trying to satisfy creditors. But many know what it's like.

Congress can not be trusted with debt. It's been 220 years of Congressional failure with debt.

Free includes debt-free!

Although it isn't the news we want to hear

I think it's really cool that he took the time to type out such a detailed and thoughtful reply to someone who can't even vote for him!

Wish our "representatives" were as accessible!

Thanks for sharing!

:) And thanks for taking the time to investigate and report back! For more traffic, I respectfully suggest a title change to something like:

Email from Iceland Pirate Party Details Status of Snowden Asylum & Citizenship

I'm a serial entrepreneur and liberty activist from Texas!


I don't know...

I can never figure out what type of headline gets noticed. Sometimes I post something and no one reads it and then an hour later someone else posts the same thing and it gets tons of hits.

I think this is important and most people would be interested in reading what she says. But I am no headline expert, that's for sure.