The Icelandic Ministry for Foreign Affairs has received a letter from the U.S. Embassy in Iceland requesting the extradition of a U.S. citizen, presumably whistleblower Edward Snowden.
Alþingi, the Icelandic parliament. Photo: Páll Kjartansson/Iceland Review.
Snowden leaked information from the NSA and CIA and is now wanted by U.S authorities.
The letter requests judicial assistance regarding a U.S. citizen whose whereabouts in Iceland are uncertain.
The Ministry of the Interior, to which the case has been referred, is unauthorized to release further information but ruv.is concludes that the letter concerns Snowden.
“I find it an example of U.S. authorities having lost it ... with this letter, this request that he be arrested and extradited—before he arrives,” commented MP for the Pirate Party Birgitta Jónsdóttir to visir.is.
Birgitta stated that Icelandic authorities should send a clear message in cases like these. “First of all, when we receive such a request, we’re supposed to inform the public because the public should know. Then we should simply send it back because it is, for example according to Amnesty International, nothing else but a disguised threat.”
According to information from the Ministry of the Interior, the request will be considered if Snowden comes to Iceland and applies for asylum here.
Snowden left the U.S. for Hong Kong and from there traveled to Moscow. He is believed to still be based at the airport in the Russian capital.
Originally it appeared that Snowden would be granted asylum in Ecuador and later it was reported that he had applied for asylum in Iceland. Three countries have offered him political asylum: Bolivia, Nicaragua and Venezuela.
Venezuelan authorities have also received a letter similar in nature to that sent to the Icelandic Foreign Ministry.