From Iceland — Two Leftist-Green MPs Among Those Opposed to Expansion of Police Power

Two Leftist-Green MPs Among Those Opposed to Expansion of Police Power

Published August 18, 2010

Two members of parliament from the ruling coalition are among those who are opposed to Justice Minister Ragna Árnadóttir’s proposal to drastically expand police powers.
Earlier this week, the minister confirmed that she was putting together a proposal for parliament that would give police the right to search anyone, even if they are not suspected of having committed a crime or intending to commit a crime. She has said the purpose of the measure would be to “fight organized crime”, reminiscent of the minister’s “work group” from last November that sought to expand supervision of all foreigners for the same purpose.
Member of the Young Leftist-Greens, the youth movement branch of the party of the name, issued a statement in opposition to the minister’s idea, saying in part that “By permitting spying on individuals without any reasonable suspicion of criminal activity or intent, the government has put itself on very thin ice. From a fundamental human rights and democratic viewpoint, any ideas such as this must be rejected.”
Leftist-Green MP Ögmundur Jónasson told RÚV yesterday that he also has “serious doubts” about the proposal, adding that similar ideas have been ruled out in the past due to concerns that it would violate individual freedoms. He has asked the minister to meet with the parliamentary general committee to explain her position. His colleague, Árni Þór Sigurðsson, added that he preferred a “milder way” be taken than to send the police after people who aren’t even suspected of criminal activity.

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