06 Dec 2018 Lvl. 2
Alert created on: 18 Oct 2017 n° 121/2017 Iceland

Injunction Prohibiting Media from Reporting on the Financial Dealings of Iceland Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson

Source of threatState
CategoryOther acts having chilling effects on media freedom
Partner EFJ/IFJ
Partner EFJ/IFJ
The District Commissioner of Reykjavík issued an injunction on 16 October 2017 against media outlets Stundin and Reykjavík Media, prohibiting them from doing any future reporting on the financial dealings of Prime Minister Bjarni Benediktsson and his family with Glitnir bank just before the economic collapse of Iceland in October 2008. The case has drawn sharp criticism from the Journalists’ Union of Iceland and Stundin’s editor considering that the injunction goes against press freedom and freedom of expression in Iceland.
The editor of Stundin has learned of the injunction when their offices received a visit from representatives of the District Commissioner and Glitnir demanding to delete all previous reporting that they had done on the Prime Minister’s time as an MP, to hand over all documentation that contributed to this reporting, and to cease all future reporting on the subject referring to concerns on the confidentiality of financial information.
06 Dec 2018: On 6 December 2018, considering that the Court decided to lift the injunction made by the District Commissioner of Reykjavík, the partner organisations to the Platform declared this case to be “resolved”, concluding it was no longer an active threat to media freedom.
12 Feb 2018
On 2 February 2018, the Reykjavik District Court decided to lift the injunction made by the District Commissioner of Reykjavík on 16 October 2017.
State replies
12 Feb 2018
19 Oct 2017
OSCE media freedom representative concerned about ban on reporting about Icelandic bank
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