US Ambassador Taken To Task Over Treatment Of Icelandic MP - The Reykjavik Grapevine

US Ambassador Taken To Task Over Treatment Of Icelandic MP

Published January 11, 2011

Icelandic authorities, meeting with US ambassador to Iceland Luis E. Arreaga, reportedly expressed great concern over what they see as the US overstepping its power by targeting MP Birgitta Jónsdóttir as part of their investigation of Wikileaks.
As has been reported, Birgitta was a Wikileaks volunteer at one point. Recently, the US Department of Justice began to pressure the social networking site Twitter to release private messages made by those connected to Wikileaks, including Birgitta. Twitter has informed all of its users who might be the subject of an investigation.
Response to this matter has been swift, as she has very publicly spoken to the press about the case, stating that she will fight this. Minister of Foreign Affairs Össur Skarphéðinsson told RÚV that he intends to fight “tooth and nail” for Birgitta, and Minister of Justice Ögmundur Jónasson has also told reporters that he considers the situation “a very serious matter”.
DV is now reporting that Ministry of Foreign Affairs director Einar Gunnarsson met with the US ambassador to Iceland and other American officials yesterday morning, where he expressed “grave concern” for Birgitta’s treatment. The ministry also asked for more information about what, precisely, the US Department of Justice is seeking from Birgitta, and more on the case in general.
They concluded the meeting by emphasising that Birgitta enjoys parliamentary immunity in Iceland, and that the law makes no difference between a member of parliament and parliament as a whole. As such, the ministry asked the US officials to not interfere with Birgitta’s work in Iceland, including but not limited to freedom of movement and her ability to participate in political discussions on the international stage.
Related article:
Icelandic Government Will Defend MP Beleaguered By US Authorities
(Photo: US Department of Justice)


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