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Medhi Released, Could Face Four Years In Prison

Published May 20, 2011

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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Bomb Squad’s 2003 Find Possibly Western Chemical Weapons

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A team of Icelandic bomb squad technicians may have found US-produced mustard gas in Iraq, during the 2003-invasion. This was reported by RÚV’s Kastljós, following last week’s coverage in the New York Times, of chemical weapons actually found during the invasion, but treated as classified due to their origins on the one hand, and relative harmlessness, compared with the hypothetical weapons declared to be in the hands of dictator Saddam Hussein in the advent of the invasion. “Old chemical munitions” In 2003, the Icelandic bomb squad’s discovery of potential chemical weapon warheads was covered on the front page of newspaper

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Pirate MP Defies ISNIC By Opening Blasphemy.is

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Pirate MP Helgi Hrafn Gunnarsson registered the domain Guðlast.is, translatable as blasphemy.is, to point out what he claims is mistaken reasoning behind ISNIC’s closure of the Islamic State’s .is domain. Vísir quotes Helgi Hrafn as saying: “I wanted to show that if people wanted to refer to the country’s legislation as grounds for banning certain domains, they must realize that incredible things are forbidden in this country, for example blasphemy.” In its current form the website merely quotes the penalty law article on blasphemy: “Whoever publicly mocks or derides articles of faith or divine worship of a religious group legally

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Management Wrong On Icelanders’ Working Hours

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A representative of management who contended that Icelanders do not need to work fewer hours has been corrected by the director of the Association for Sustainability and Democracy (ALDA). As reported, Þorsteinn Víglundsson, the director of Business Iceland (SA), recently dismissed a bill that was recently submitted to parliament on the subject of the definition of “full time work”. The bill proposes that the definition be changed from 40 hours per week to 35. Þorsteinn, in an interview with Stöð 2, told reporters that the concerns raised in the bill were unrealistic, saying that Icelanders work on average about 37

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“Idiot” And Other Words Removed From Icelandic Penal Code

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The Icelandic Penal Code was recently revamped to remove some of its more out-dated word choices, and replace them with more modern equivalents. RÚV reports that amongst these proposed changes is to remove the word “idiot” and replace it with the phrase “individual with a developmental disorder”. The out-dated “idiot” is currently used in Article 222 of the Icelandic Penal Code, which states, “Anyone who, intentionally or unwittingly, gives dangerous objects or substances to a child younger than 15 years old, a mentally ill person, an idiot or an intoxicated person will be fined or jailed”. Other changes in word

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ISNIC Cites Business Reasons For Closing Islamic State’s Domain

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RÚV reports that Isnic closed the domain of militant group ISIS/Islamic State for business reasons, according to Jens Pétur Jensen, ISNIC’s manager. The decision was made following a staff meeting. Jens Pétur says that around half of ISNIC’s ten staff members were opposed to the decision, and would either have preferred the company wait for a legitimate order from State authorities or not close the site down at all. This was heard at a meeting of Alþingi’s Enviroment and Transportation Committee. Jens Pétur told members of Alþingi that the business reasons behind the decision were concerns about the reputation of

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