From Iceland — Icelander Reportedly Blacklisted In China For Critical Article

Icelander Reportedly Blacklisted In China For Critical Article

Published April 16, 2021

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by

An Icelandic lawyer has reportedly been blacklisted by Chinese authorities for a critical article he wrote about real estate owned by the Chinese embassy and their handling of the coronavirus pandemic, Vísir reports.

The blacklisting means that Jónas Haraldsson, the author of the article, may not travel to China and could possibly have his assets in China frozen. Gunnar Snorri Gunnarsson, Iceland’s ambassador to China, was informed of this decision on Wednesday, and Jónas was called to a meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs where he was given the news.

Guðlaugur Þór Þórðarson, Iceland’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, told reporters that it was unacceptable to punish people for exercising their freedom of expression in countries where those freedoms are protected.

“I think that to put it politely that it is completely unacceptable to do this to an Icelandic citizen solely for exercising their freedom of speech,” he said. “It is of course unacceptable. We made this clear immediately with Chinese authorities in Beijing and here in Reykjavík.”

Despite this, Guðlaugur Þór does not believe that Chinese authorities are going to change their minds on the matter.

“I want to emphasise that the main issue here is that this is an individual who is just exercising their freedom of speech, and freedom of speech is preserved in Iceland,” he said. “That’s how it is and that’s how it will be. It is of course not a good feeling when we get a message like this.”

Note: Due to the effect the Coronavirus is having on tourism in Iceland, it’s become increasingly difficult for the Grapevine to survive. If you enjoy our content and want to help the Grapevine’s journalists do things like eat and pay rent, please consider joining our High Five Club.

You can also check out our shop, loaded with books, apparel and other cool merch, that you can buy and have delivered right to your door.

Also you can get regular news from Iceland—including the latest notifications on eruptions, as soon as they happen—by signing up to our newsletter.

Support The Reykjavík Grapevine!
Buy subscriptions, t-shirts and more from our shop right here!

Show Me More!