Medhi Released, Could Face Four Years In Prison

20.5.2011
Words by Paul Fontaine
Iranian asylum seeker Medhi Kavyanpor has been released from custody after threatening to set himself on fire at the offices of the Red Cross, and police say he could face charges that carry a maximum sentence of four years in prison.

By now, many of our readers are familiar with the case of Medhi Kavyanpor, who has been waiting for seven years to receive an answer regarding his request for political asylum in Iceland. This is despite the fact that Iceland, being a signatory to Dublin Regulation II, is bound by an international treaty to process all asylum seeker applications within one year.

Since the incident occurred, Medhi's case has received a great deal more media attention, with Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson telling reporters that no one should have to be sent back to a totalitarian regime. Medhi has been in custody for the past two weeks.

Vísir now reports that Medhi could face charges for the incident. Citing the Icelandic criminal code, police say that his actions endangered the health and lives of others, and that it is not unlikely he would be charged with doing so. The maximum penalty for this crime is four years in prison.

Medhi has remained committed to his fight for political asylum in Iceland, telling the Grapevine in a new interview, "sometimes you simply have to stand up for yourself. You cannot harm other people, but your own life—well, if it doesn’t have any meaning, you better take it. In the situation I’m in, it is my only weapon. I don’t have anything else."
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