Deportation Alert! Icelandic State Cracks Down on Saving Iceland Activists

The Icelandic State has hounded and harassed Saving Iceland activists since the network was formed in 2004. In the latest episode of this sordid saga; Miriam Rose, an activist from the UK who lives in Iceland is threatened with deportation for being: "a threat to 'public order and security' and 'fundamental societal values'. She has only ever been convicted of 'Disobeying Police Orders' contrary to the draconian 'Police Acts' for which she has served a short prison sentence; in solitary confinement in a men's prison.

On Friday 21st September, Saving Iceland activist Miriam Rose was presented with a letter from the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration threatening her with possible expulsion from Iceland. The letter claims that due to her participation in two actions at smelter sites she may be considered a threat to 'public order and security' and 'fundamental societal values'. The letter also claims that Saving Iceland pays activists for being arrested, a claim repeatedly denied and proven to be false.

Saving Iceland is an international grass roots network that uses direct action to confront the Icelandic government's Heavy Industry Policy. The government are intent on building aluminium smelters to exploit the country's geothermal and hydro-electric potential, an ecological and environmental catastrophe sold as 'green energy'. Saving Iceland also promotes and practices solidarity with struggles against the aluminium industry worldwide, such as in Trinidad, South Africa and India.

Miriam has already served 8 days in prison for protesting against the destruction of Icelandic wilderness, for which the UK Green Party Principal Speaker Dr Derek Wall accused the Icelandic government of political harassment and demanded her immediate release. In Radio 1 Icelandic news program Spegillinn yesterday, the police admitted that this was to be the first of many attempted deportations of activists.

Miriam is now waiting for a decision by the Directorate of Immigration, having submitted her objection to deportation. 'I am very shocked that the Icelandic government continue to punish me, after already paying so heavily for my actions and ideals. This seems to be an attempt to scare people from protesting here, and I find such treatment surprising in a supposedly developed democracy like Iceland. I am a peaceful and educated person and have never posed a threat to the police or any other person during my time here. I was intending to settle in Iceland, and have been making moves to learn Icelandic and contribute to this society.'

In 2005 the Icelandic Directorate of Immigration attempted to deport 21 Saving Iceland activists. Activists were snatched off the streets of Reykjavik by plain clothes police, held overnight with no food, water or even pretense of a legal process. An elderly academic with no connection to Saving Iceland was hospitalised with serious head injuries after he witnessed activists being bundled into an unmarked car. Plain clothes police also broke into buildings in an attempt to get to activists on the 'blacklist'. The Directorate of Immigration, denied that there was such a list in an interview with tabloid paper DV, fortunately Saving Iceland was able to supply them with a copy complete with the Directorate's seal and Hildur Dungal's (the Director's) signature. Eventually the Directorate of Immigration admitted it had no legal right to deport anyone on the list.

In 2006 14 activists were tried and convicted for 'Disobeying Police Orders' and received prison sentences of up to 18 days a small group was also convicted of 'Repression of Liberty' and sentenced to 2 months suspended for 3 years on the false witness of a manager at engineering firm Honnen where they had attempted to occupy offices, the same manager punched and kicked protesters and slammed a door on someone's head.

Earlier this year after Reykjavik's first Reclaim the Streets the Icelandic police began to confiscate passport of foreign activists, something they have no legal authority to do. The Icelandic State have also had a long history of harassing Icelandic activists, in one case they have allegedly made false reports to Interpol accusing a Saving Iceland activist of traveling on a forged passport and attempted to strip the activists Icelandic Citizenship.

If the Icelandic Police and Immigration Directorate can get away with deporting Miriam, then they will use deportations more frequently to silence dissent and undermine solidarity with Icelandic environmentalists. They must be stopped!

The website of the Directorate of Immigration is http://www.utl.is/english

The director's name is Hildur Dungal: hildur@utl.is

See also:
Report on Miriam's deportation and statement from Saving Iceland:
http://www.savingiceland.org/node/983

Report on Miriam's Incarceration in Solitary Confinement in a Men's Prison:
http://www.savingiceland.org/node/892

Statement of Support from UK Green Party:
http://www.savingiceland.org/node/985 and @ http://www.greenparty.org.uk/news/3171

Report on Saving Iceland's funding:
http://www.savingiceland.org/node/846

Report of Previous attempts to Deport Saving Iceland activists:
http://www.savingiceland.org/node/144

Report on how the Icelandic Immigration Directorate can behave quite differently if you are pals with a Government Minister:
http://www.savingiceland.org/node/759Police Brutakity at Reykjavik's first RTS this summerPolice Brutakity at Reykjavik's first RTS this summer