As reported, Deputy state prosecutor Helgi Magnús Gunnarsson has harshly criticised the church over last week’s incident, wherein Laugarneskirkja church provided sanctuary to some asylum seekers facing deportation.
Police would encounter no resistance before, during or after the arrest of these asylum seekers (as can be seen in the video at the end of this article), but that did not stop Helgi from accusing clergy of having stepped outside the bounds of their job descriptions, implying that the church might as well start offering asylum to criminals.
Supreme Court justice and eminent human rights law expert Ragnar Aðalsteinsson told Eyjan that not only did the church break absolutely no laws in the incident; he also slammed Helgi’s remarks as being “very dangerous” and irresponsible.
“It’s actually unbelievable that one lives in a society where one of the highest-positioned officials in the judicial system has such an opinion and doesn’t hesitate to share it publicly,” he said. “This is very dangerous. I hope his superior, the Minister of the Interior, sends out a statement [about this] because otherwise it appears as if this is the opinion of the State Prosecutor. The office is responsible for the statements of this deputy prosecutor.”
Ragnar is furthermore baffled at Helgi’s interpretation of events.
“It’s just chilling that those who are responsible for legislation and its enforcement in Icelandic society should issue such statements,” he said. “Statements that are not based on the facts, nor the law, nor an ethical position, but based on something else entirely; something serious and dangerous for Icelandic society.”