Published April 12, 2018
Friends and supporters of Haukur Hilmarsson, who was reportedly killed in Syria last February, disrupted Parliament last Tuesday to implore the government to take real action in finding him. Other questions have since arisen as to how neither he nor his remains have yet been recovered.
Kvennablaðið reports that Lárus Páll Birgisson, a legendary Icelandic activist in Reykjavík, interrupted a parliamentary session from the gallery to address parliamentarians directly. As with all open sessions of Parliament, the incident was captured on television (Article continues after video):
Here is Lárus’ address in full:
“My name is Lárus Páll, I am a friend of Haukur Hilmarsson, who ended up in Syria. We are looking for our friend. Your allies have control of the area where he is supposed to be. No one has seen his body. No one saw him get killed. Where do you stand while you remain silent on this? They called Haukur a terrorist. Was he a terrorist? If he was a terrorist, why do you say nothing? If he was a terrorist, why do you say nothing? Why do you say nothing when your allies are killing people? And not just people, but my friend Haukur? Why has no one helped us properly to get to the bottom of this? Help us. The only thing we need is a letter which states that we can go into the area and look for him. This is the only thing we’re asking of you now. There are people on the border, who are waiting to get access. But they are waiting for answers from you. They are your allies. Your silence is deafening.”
Haukur’s mother, Eva Hauksdóttir, has been distraught and frustrated with the slow response of Icelandic authorities; in particular, in how the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been dragging their feet in this matter.
While Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir told reporters late last month that she had asked Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel for assistance, Kvennablaðið reports that numerous German nationals have also traveled to Syria to fight alongside the People’s Protection Units (YPG), yet in no instance have any of them disappeared – they have all either come home, or had their remains recovered.
As it stands now, Icelandic authorities say they are doing everything in their power to find Haukur. Despite these assurances, no progress has been made.