Icelandic Lawmaker Claims Snowden Expressed ‘Gratitude’ For Citizenship Vote

Birgitta Jonsdottir, one of the members of the Icelandic parliament who put forth a bill to grant National Security Agency leaker Edward Snowden citizenship in that country, published a statement she identified as Snowden’s response to the bill on her official website Thursday. The statement was addressed to “the Icelandic Parliament” and praised them for “considering” Snowden’s citizenship request: 

“I want to extend my gratitude to the Icelandic parliament for considering my request for Icelandic citizenship. I have been left defacto-stateless by my own government after communicating with the public. I appreciate that Iceland, a small but significant country in the world community, shows such courage and commitment to its higher laws and ideals. I am heartened to feel the support of the Icelandic people whom I know have a long history of standing firm, even under threats of aggression, when basic principles are at stake.”

Lawmakers voted not to debate the bill to provide Snowden citizenship before their summer recess. Including Jonsdottir, it was sponsored by six of the Parliament’s 63 members. All of the bill’s co-sponsors were from minority parties.

In her blog post that included the statement she said was from Snowden, Jonsdottir addressed the delayed vote.

“The current governmental parties did not have the guts to co-sponsor the bill, however they still have time to change their minds, since the parliament is heading into recess,” Jonsdottir wrote. “The reason for the delay in putting forward the bill is that the parliament had not received a formal request from Snowden until today.”

Jonsdottir has in the past worked closely with Wikileaks, which has claimed to be assisting Snowden as he seeks asylum and has distributed statements on his behalf. The statement published by Jonsdottir cannot be independently confirmed. Neither Jonsdottir or Wikileaks immediately responded to a request for comment.