Minister Questions Police Pepper Spray Use Skip to content

Minister Questions Police Pepper Spray Use

By Steindor Gretar Jonsson

Photo: Jelena Ćirić.

Minister of Social Affairs and Labour Guðmundur Ingi Guðbrandsson has called for an investigation into police decision making when pepper spray was used against protesters in downtown Reykjavík yesterday, Vísir reports.

Pro-Palestine protest

The protest in support of Palestine took place outside a meeting of government ministers and was organised in part by the Iceland-Palestine Association. Police said they were forced to use pepper spray as protesters obstructed ministerial vehicles and refused to disband, but videos show pepper spray use after the road was cleared and against protesters who appeared to be cooperating. Ten protesters were injured and a police officer was hit by a ministerial vehicle.

Right to protest

Guðmundur Ingi is handling the Prime Minister’s duties while Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson is meeting with Nordic heads of government in Sweden. He announced in a Facebook post that he had tasked the Permanent Secretary of the Prime Minister’s Office with looking into the protocols and decisions of the Reykjavík Metropolitan Police. “They led to force being used against citizens who were exercising their democratic right to protest while the cabinet was meeting,” Guðmundur Ingi wrote.

Sign up for our weekly newsletter

Get news from Iceland, photos, and in-depth stories delivered to your inbox every week!

* indicates required

Subscribe to Iceland Review

In-depth stories and high-quality photography showcasing life in Iceland!