From Iceland — Young Leftist-Greens Strongly Criticise New Police Legislation

Young Leftist-Greens Strongly Criticise New Police Legislation

Published March 7, 2011

The youth wing of the Leftist-Green Party sent a statement harshly criticising Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson for submitting a bill that would expand police powers.
As was reported, the minister submitted a bill which would expand police powers to be able to investigate people who are not suspected of having committed a crime, nor are suspected of planning to do so. Called “proactive investigation”, the rationale behind the legislation is to assist police in the fight against organised crime, both foreign and domestic, human trafficking, drug smuggling, and terrorist threats.
While the minister emphasised that he was reluctant to endorse proactive investigation, he felt that by requiring court approval for each possible case, a temperance of sorts could be achieved.
Younger members of his party disagree. In a statement released to the press, they say in part that “by permitting the spying on of individuals not suspected of breaking the law, the government is walking on thin ice. From a human rights and democratic point of view should any such ideas be rejected.”
The Young Leftist-Greens also point out that Ögmundur himself was at one point an adamant opponent of this same idea – when it was submitted by then Minister of Justice Björn Bjarnason, a conservative.
They call upon the minister to withdraw the bill from the floor, adding, “[we] are convinced that it is very well possible to increase support for the police of this country and their work without having to resort to as drastic measures as allowing proactive investigations of individuals.”

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