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Amnesty Iceland Joins In International Pussy Riot Campaign

Published August 10, 2012

Amnesty Iceland will be participating in a campaign coordinated around the world by Amnesty International to pressure Russian authorities into releasing punk band Pussy Riot.
As many know, the Russian punk rock band were arrested last March after performing a song in a church calling for Russian President Vladimir Putin to be removed from power. They have been in jail ever since, and were recently denied bail. They face seven years in prison for “hooliganism”. The case has aroused international attention and protest to what is seen by many to be a political arrest.
Iceland has been no exception when it comes to protesting the detention. Last month, protesters gathered at the Russian embassy, leading to one arrest. Iceland Airwaves directing manager Grímur Atlason has pledged to hold a punk rock concert outside of the Russian embassy and Russian Orthodox church every Thursday at noon, to voice disapproval for the continued detention of Pussy Riot.
Now, Amnesty Iceland is formally taking part in a global campaign against the Russian government being organised by Amnesty International. At the time of this writing, nearly 1,700 Icelanders have signed on within a single day.
The campaign encourages people to sign a letter being sent to Prosecutor of the Moscow’s Central Administrative District Denis Gennadievich Popov, who is leading the case against the band. The closing paragraph of the letter states:

I respectfully urge you to drop the charges of hooliganism and immediately and unconditionally release Maria Alekhina, Ekaterina Samutsevich and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova. Furthermore, I call on you to immediately and impartially investigate threats received by the family members and lawyers of the three women and, if necessary, ensure their protection. Whether or not the women were involved in the performance in the cathedral, freedom of expression is a human right under Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and no one should be jailed for the peaceful exercise of this right. Thank you for your attention to this serious matter.



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Police Guns Detained By Toll Authorities Until Proven Gifts

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The 250 machine guns, recently acquired from the Norwegian army, have been sealed off by toll authorities, who will not deliver them to the Coast Guard until the latter can prove that the weapons were a gift, as its representatives have publicly claimed. According to RÚV, toll authorities locked up and sealed the warehouse in which the weapons are kept, until the Coast Guard can provide such evidence. Whereas the Coast Guard has not provided any proof, toll authorities have a copy of the Norwegian Army’s invoice for the guns, supporting Norway’s claim that the Coast Guard purchased them. If

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Adam Ibrahim Pasha Ends Hunger Strike

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Adam Ibrahim Pasha has ended his hunger strike. He announced the end of the strike on Thursday evening, his tenth day striking. Pasha took the action to protest against the Directorate of Immigration’s decision not to process his application for asylum in Iceland. In his announcement, Pasha explains that he respects Icelandic authorities and the Directorate of Immigration in particular. He says that he does not want them to feel as if he meant to force their decision, but explains that he took the action out of fear for his own life, if deported. He says that he now considers

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“To Write A Saga, You Must Kill A Cow”

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Last night, as reported, director Benedikt Erlingsson and producer Friðrik Þór Friðriksson received the Nordic Council Film Prize for the 2013 comedy “Of Horses and Men”. In his acceptance speech, Benedikt criticized the government for cutting the budget of the Icelandic Film Fund by, he said, 42 percent, this year. Describing the situation as a “catastrophe”, Benedikt announced the presence of Icelandic politicians at the ceremony, and encouraged other members of the audience to pick up the topic in conversations, during the succeeding party. “Talk to them about the Icelandic sagas,” Benedikt said, and continued: “Tell them that we who

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Labour Leaders Prepare For Hard Road Ahead

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Leaders of several trade unions say they are getting ready to take a harder stance against management this year, with the need for solidarity amongst workers especially emphasised. The temporary collective bargaining agreement that was agreed upon earlier this year is soon reaching a close, and many professions – such as music teachers and doctors – are already striking, or considering doing so. Vísir spoke with several trade union leaders about the negotiations to come, and what their position on the current labour situation is. Kristján Þórður Snæbjarnarson, chairperson of the Icelandic Electricians Union, said solidarity amongst workers is the

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