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A letter which Laagendalsposten declined to publish

Erik Strand, June 25th, 2013

On May 6th this year I sent an e-mail to the newspaper Laagendalsposten with a letter which I hoped the newspaper would publish. The newspaper does publish some letters from the readers, and as I am a candiadate in the parliamentary election in September, it would be reasonable to expect the newspaper to publish my letter. Laagendalsposten is a local newspaper in the city of Kongsberg in Buskerud county, the county where i am first candidate for the Coastal Party in this year's election. The following (translated from Norwegian) is the letter I sent to Laagendalsposten:

"The most important issue in the parliamentary election 2013.

Corruption and abuse of power is a much bigger problem in Norway than the ordinary political debate reveals: Judicial murders, wrongdoing in CPS cases and retaliation against whistleblowers is something many Norwegians experience. For an overview, I recommend the website www.fampo.info, belonging to the organisation Fampo.

The fact that such conditions can continue to exist, is caused by the phenomenon that there turns up long chins of people protecting each other. The Bygdeposten case is an ugly example of that. In the year 2000, Bygdeposten [local newspaper in Buskerud] published several articles and editorials about corruption in Norway. As an example, the police in Sunnmøre demanded a mental observation of Kåre Torvholm, a fighter for human rights. Torvholm had a clean record, and it was later on clear that he had not uttered the treaths he was charged with.

In the autumn of 2000, the editor of Bygdeposten was fired, and in the report "The price of freedom of speech in The veiled Norway", Fampo's leader Dag Hiåsen documents abuse of the legal system to justify the editor's dismissal.

As a candidate for the Coastal Party in the parliamentary election in Buskerud, I propose a solution to the problems of organised abuse of power. The parliament must create a truth commission inspired by South Africa. Those who do not tell the commission about the corruption in which they have participated, will be strongly punished. But an amnesty will be granted those who confess (this amnesty will not hinder removing them from their positions). When all other initiatives to fight abuse of power have been in vain, this is probably themost realistic way of breaking up corrupt networks.

Tjøme May 6th, 2013
Erik Strand
First kandidate for the Coastal Party in Buskerud in the 2013 election"

Time went by, but the letter could not be seen in the newspaper. The second candidate sent an e-mail to Laagendalsposten and asked if it was correct that the newspaper had not published the letter, and why the newspaper would not publish it. Her is the answer from Laagendalsposten:

Our judgement is that this has limited interest for Laagendalsposten's readers

Knut W.H.