This morning, approximately 700 signatures were handed to the president of Althingi, Ásta R. Jóhannesdóttir, mbl.is reports. The reason for the petition is the lawsuit of the Icelandic government against nine individuals accused of lawbreaking when protesting in the building on December 8th 2008.
Protests outside Althingi, Iceland’s Parliament in October 2008. Photo: IPA.
“We believe, especially after having examined the evidence, the security tapes, that this was a violence-free act,” said one of the organizers Bryndís Björgvinsdóttir.
The protesters demand that the government dismiss all charges against the group of nine, or, that the “prosecutor be as thorough as to issue charges against everyone who attacked Althingi during the winter of 2008-2009.” In all, 705 participants in those protests signed the petition.
“Of course it is our opinion that thousands of people are complicit with the group of nine, but it cannot be taken for granted that people sign such a statement, which means that we are very pleased with the turnout,” said Björgvinsdóttir. The same should, however, go for everyone. “There was a riot and tussle in the building but that was similar to the pot and pan revolution. There was no intention of violence and it is clear that these nine are being made scapegoats, which we will not tolerate.”
Ragnheidur Ásta Pétursdóttir, former announcer at RUV, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service and mother of one of the nine accused, formally handed the petition to the Speaker of the House, accompanied by a group of thirty protesters. The recipient only stayed for a short while, accepting the signatures and saying that she represented the legislation, not the jurisdiction, and therefore had little to say in the matter.
Click here to read the statement in its entirety