31 Jul 2007
GREENS BACK BRITISH ENVIRONMENTAL ACTIVIST ARRESTED IN ICELAND
Twenty three year old British Saving Iceland activist Miriam Rose has
been arrested by the Icelandic police. She was protesting against the
Icelandic government's support for heavy industry, in particular Rio
Tinto Alcan's Straumsvik smelter in South-West Iceland. Reports
suggest she is still being held by the police. (1)
Dr. Derek Wall, Green Party Principal Speaker, said: "Although Rio
Tinto have been making the headlines for their recent purchase of the
Canadian aluminium group Alcan for 38.1bn dollars (18.7bn pounds), it
is the environmental degradation and damage that goes hand in hand
with most of their projects that should be drawing the spotlight.
"Iceland is the largest remaining wilderness in Europe. Acitivists
such as Mirian Rose, most of whom belong to the Saving Iceland
campaign group, are protesting againsts plans to turn it into the
heavy industry capital of Europe - with companies such as Rio Tinto
reaping in the profits.
"There are no less than 8 new smelters or enlargements of existing
smelters planned in Iceland. Rio Tinto, as a a world leader in
finding, mining and processing the earth’s mineral resources, is
involved in most of them.
"RioTinto-Alcan’s aluminium alloys are sold for a whole range of
military purposes. Alcan is the main supplier for European Aerospace
and Defense and Space, producer of military helicopters, military
satellites, the Eurofighter Tycoon, Mirage F1, EF18 Hornet and other
"Alcan further supplies Boeing a “variety of high performance
aluminum-products”. Boeing produces the Apache and Chinook military
helicopters used in Iraq."
"I am appalled by what looks to be the arrest and imprisonment of
Miriam Rose as a political prisoner, and urge the Icelandic
government to release her.
"In March this year the Left-Green party in Iceland called for an
independent investigation into the conduct of the Icelandic police
against Saving Iceland protesters in the the years of 2005 and 2006.
"It seems clear that there concerns were justified. "
Notes for Editors
(1) More info on Saving Iceland and the arrest of Miriam Rose can be
found at www.savingiceland.org
(2) Proposed smelters or enlargements include:
The new ALCOA smelter in Reydarfjordur.
The new ALCOA smelter in Husavik.
The Rio Tinto ALCAN enlargement of the existing smelter in Straumsvik.
The new Rio Tinto ALCAN smelter in Keilisnes or Thorlakshofn.
The recent Century Aluminum/Nordural smelter enlargement in Hvalfjordur.
The new Century Aluminum smelter in Helguvik.
The new Altech smelter in Thorlakshofn.
The new Norsk Hydro smelter in Thorlakshofn.
The enlargement of the Icelandic Alloys/ELKEM in Grundartangi.
The new R & D Carbon anode rod factory at Katanes in Hvalfjordur.
Green Party Press Office
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Posted by Derek Wall at 2:33 pm