HELP !!! - President of Peace 2000 in prison & computers confiscated! President of Peace 2000 in prison & computers confiscated in Iceland! HELP!!! - URGENT ALERT - PLEASE PROTEST THIS GRAVE HUMAN RIGHTS BREACH
Message from Thor Magnusson, President of Peace 2000
I need your urgent help and attention. Please read this messge carefully.
Last Friday Icelandic Prime Minister Mr. David Oddsson and Foreign Minister Mr. Halldor Asgrimsson surprised and shocked most of our formerly peaceful nation with an announcement from the NATO meeting in Prague, that Iceland is no longer a by-stander in military actions and that an agreement has been made with two Icelandic public transport airlines, Icelandair and Atlanta, to use their passenger aircraft for transportation of NATO weapons and soldiers. We have never had a military following a peace meeting by the Vikings at our Althing in the year 1000! But our misguided Prime Minister Mr. Oddsson said this new policy of his government is to "strengthen the military might of the NATO alliance" and to "fly troops and military equipment to war areas and that the Icelandic government would pay for it".
The news indicated the first flight operation using Icelandic passenger aircraft for the transportation of weapons and troops may be as soon as with an upcoming war with Iraq that the Prime Minister expects that NATO and his government will support.
I issued a warning immediately on Friday that any agreement linking the use of passenger aircraft with NATO or with the transportation of weapons and troops will compromise the security of those aircraft - also when conducting normal passenger flights.
Within hours of my warning Friday I was arrested by the Icelandic Police.
I was taken from a restaurant down town by secret police that was in no uniform into an unmarked car. They refused to let my fiancee and the other people I was with in the restaurant know that I was being arrested. A man simply asked me to come with him outside fo ra moment, and there he arrested me. They could have ditched anywhere and nobody would have known!!! I was thrown into jail and kept there for several days in complete isolation. The first night I was kept in a cell without any toilet and had to do my things on the floor!!! Only when the High Court heard an appeal the Police released me.
But it does not seem to be the end! News report last night said that the police was looking at another letter I sent to the directors of the airlines yesterday, and that today they will make a decision for further action. Our lawyer suggested I sleep the night in hiding somewhere.
People have been phoning us constantly - everyone is shocked. Lawyers say that the arrest has no foundation in law. Our best-known human rights lawyer, Mr. Ragnar Adalsteinsson took it up by himself to speak out in a shock over this on TV while I was in the prison. He tells me the law professors at the Reykjavik University are also shocked.
EkstraBladet, a major newspaper in Denmark, said that the imprisonment of the leader of Peace 2000, former Icelandic Presidential Candidate AstThor Magnusson was an obvious action to "shut the mouth of the opposition".
A man called me last night and told me that he has knowledge that my arrest was decided in the Prime Ministers office building. Politicians are not supposed to have any influence on the police here, but this seems to be changing now.
The police raided the Peace 2000 offices and my home in the middle of the night and confiscated computers. They have refused to return the computers and are keeping all member databases and contact lists.
Earlier this year, when the President of China visted Iceland, the Icelandic police worked with a "black list" of Falun Gong practitioners that wanted to do a peaceful demonstration against Human Rights abuses in China. On instructions from the government of China as it seems, they arrested whole groups of Falun Gong tourists upon arrival in the country and kept them in a detention centre. The Icelandic police also got the airlines to cooperate and give access to reservation lists to refuse boarding in foreign airports if their name was found on the black list from China. We fear that they have now started to create a black lists of the Peace 2000 members and that this may be used in a similar way as with the Falun Gong black list.
We have written to the directors of both airlines. We have asked them to increase security immediately and to terminate said armaments transport agreement forthwith. In our opinion, while any such agreements are in place, these aircraft are at increased risk as they seem in that situation to fall exactly within the description of targets by terrorist groups.
It is clear that my warning and calling for extra security last Friday was valid. While I was being detained in prison, the UK Observer newspaper printed a new letter from Osama Bin Laden where he calls for terrorist attacks against civilian targets. Yesterday there was an attempt to shoot down an Israeli passenger aircraft.
Many fear that the Icelandic government ministers have become so corrupt that they may try to use the police again today to send me back to prison in an attempt to stop me talking about this.
PLEASE SEND YOUR PROTEST: - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Please protest my arrest by immediate email and ask all your contact lists to do same. In Icelandic my name is written: Astthor Magnusson. Please also demand that the Peace 2000 computers and data are returned immediately. We've created a mailing list that will distribute your message automatically to all Icelandic Members of Parliament, Civil Servants, the Airlines and to the Icelandic Media. The automatic listserver to protest is: firstname.lastname@example.org
EMAIL NOW PLEASE: - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Please send your protest to: email@example.com - (There is no editing, it will be distributed immedately to Members of Parliament, Civil Servents and the Media in Iceland). I repeat the email address to send protest to is: firstname.lastname@example.org
Please also copy to in case the government tries to shut us down: email@example.com
MEDIA DISTRIBUTION - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -: Please alert your media contacts.
UPDATE: - - - - - - If I am still walking free later today, I will send you an update if we receive the information requested from the airlines. We can then more clearly determine if there is need for a follow up alert. Atlanta call themselves the airline for the airlines as they are one of the worlds largest contract airline and fly under the banners of several internationally known carriers.
Peace 2000 Institute
Telephone: +354 557 1000
Fax: +354 552 2000