Friday, July 05, 2013

Beaten to it

When John Key announced that (in his view) NSA leaker Edward Snowden was not welcome in New Zealand, my first thought was that he should be challenged on that, by an MP putting up a member's bill to grant him citizenship. But Iceland has beaten us to it:

ICELANDIC MPs have introduced a proposal in parliament to grant immediate citizenship to National Security Agency (NSA) leaker Edward Snowden, who admits to revealing key details of US surveillance activities.

Ogmundur Jonasson, whose liberal Left-Green Party is backing the proposal along with the Pirate Party and Brighter Future Party, put the issue before the Judicial Affairs Committee on Thursday, but the idea received minimal support.

Iceland has done this before, in the case of chess master Bobby Fischer, who was persecuted by the US for playing chess with the Wrong People. And its a strong statement of principle. New Zealand should make that statement too. Granting refuge to Snowden would be a strong statement of our national values: freedom, democracy, human rights, and independence. All we need is an MP brave enough to stand up and say it.