Bréf til First Commissioner

Samtök eigenda sjávarjarða sendu nýlega bréf til Evrópuráðsins (Council of Europe) í Strasbourg í Frakklandi.
Bréfið var stílað á Mr. Alvaro Gil-Robles „The First Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe“.

Council of Europe

Samtok eigenda sjávarjarða.
(Association of Coastal Property Owners)
PO Box 90,
780 Hornafjordur,


Council of Europe.
Mr. Alvaro Gil-Robles,
The First Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe,
67975 Strasbourg Cedex,

Reykjavik, Iceland 25 October 2005.

Dear Mr. Gil-Robles.

With a reference to the visit to Iceland by the First Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe 4 – 6 July this summer.

I am the director of the “Association of Coastal Property Owners,” which was established on 5 July 2001.
The association was founded by the owners of properties on the coast all around Iceland in order to ensure respect for their rights to a share in marine resources; these rights are stated in Icelandic law.

The enclosed letter and documents give a fairly full account of the situation.  The Official Gazette refused to publish the accompanying advertisement on the right of coastal properties; this is an extraordinary position for such a publication to adopt.

The case involves serious violations of human rights; we should like to request you to mention them in the report currently under preparation on the state of human rights affairs in Iceland.

Individuals are being deprived of their legally-prescribed rights of ownership and employment in a manner that is completely unlawful, without full compensation, and on top of this, laws are passed to justify these unlawful practices by the Althingi (Iceland’s parliament) as the enclosed documents reveal.  This can be compared to a “resource curse” in its worst form, in which corrupt authorities steal resources that are privately owned by their citizens and make them over to their protégés.

We are prepared to submit further information to the council if this is requested.

We should like to ask the First Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe to include this information in the forthcoming report on the human rights situation in Iceland.

Yours sincerely,
On behalf of the Icelandic Association of Coastal Property Owners,


Ómar Antonsson, Chairman.

Enclosed copies:
Advertisement on the rights pertaining to coastal properties, dated 3 October 2003.Letter, dated 7 November 2002, to Dr. Franz Fischler, Commissioner for Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries.Letter, dated 11 August 2003, to Mr Simon Taylor, Director, Global Witness andLetter, dated 31 January 2003, to Dr N. Grandy, Executive Officer, International Whaling Commission.

Copy sent to:
Mrs Gudrún Gudmundsdóttir, Director of Icelandic Human Rights Centre,THE ICELANDIC HUMAN RIGHTS CENTRE,Hafnarstraeti 20, 2nd  Floor,101 Reykjavik, Iceland.

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