From Iceland — Newspaper Editor Defends Leaked Memo

Newspaper Editor Defends Leaked Memo

Published January 18, 2014

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Kristinn Ingvarsson

Davíð Oddsson – the current co-editor of Morgunblaðið – defended the leak of a memo on an asylum seeker that launched a police investigation as “allowing the public to get the whole picture”.

In an editorial for Morgunblaðið, Davíð – who is also, amongst other things, the former chairperson of the Independence Party, from which Ministry of the Interior Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir hails – argued in favour of government offices publishing personal information about refugees as a means to take part in the public discussion about asylum seekers.

“Is it not right that the public get the whole picture?,” Davíð wrote. “That nothing is hidden about what’s at stake?”

As reported, the police are currently investigating the Ministry of the Interior over a leaked memo which impugned the reputations of Nigerian asylum seeker Tony Omos and the mother of his child, Evelyn Glory Joseph. It later came to light that the accusations in the memo were false. Whilst the ministry denies the memo came from their offices, all evidence indicates the ministry as the only source.

“If an asylum seeker is with suspicious documentation, does not the public have the right to be informed of this?,” Davíð continued. “If the minister grants a residence permit or asylum [to such a person] despite obvious shortcomings, is the minister not obliged to make that known and defend the decision, though it could be difficult for the asylum seeker?”

For more on this case, read So Who’s This Tony Omos I Keep Hearing About?.

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