Historical archive

Immigration authorities have considered Norwegian PEN’s request

Historical archive

Published under: Stoltenberg's 2nd Government

Publisher Ministry of Justice and the Police

The Ministry of Justice and Public Security received on Wednesday a request from Norwegian PEN to transfer Edward Joseph Snowden to Norway through the scheme for resettlement of refugees.

The Ministry of Justice and Public Security received on Wednesday a request from Norwegian PEN to transfer Edward Joseph Snowden to Norway through the scheme for resettlement of refugees. This scheme is, in principle, for the resettlement of refugees at the request of UNHCR or other qualified organisations. Under the current guidelines, Norwegian PEN is one of the organisations that can request the authorities to consider refugees for resettlement. However, this only applies to persons who qualify for refuge in the so-called Cities of Asylum for persecuted writers.

The Ministry forwarded the request from Norwegian PEN to the Directorate of Immigration for consideration and response. The Directorate has now responded that Mr Snowden is not covered by the Cities of Asylum scheme, and does not therefore belong to the group of persons on behalf of whom Norwegian PEN can request consideration of resettlement.

Minister of Justice and Public Security Grete Faremo commented, “I have noted the Directorate of Immigration’s response to Norwegian PEN regarding the resettlement of Edward Snowden to Norway.

“I would like to add that the US has requested the extradition of Mr Snowden for criminal prosecution. Criminal prosecution in a democratic state with a criminal justice system such as that in the US does not give legal grounds for seeking asylum. It is not appropriate to use the scheme for resettlement of refugees in connection with this case.”

On Monday, Mr Snowden’s application for asylum in Norway was turned down by the Directorate of Immigration. It was turned down on formal grounds, with reference to the fact it is only refugees in Norway or at the Norwegian border who have the right to asylum in Norway. The decision can be appealed against to the Immigration Appeals Board.

Response from The Ministry of Justice and Public Security to Norwegian PEN (in Norwegian).