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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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Icelandic Weather Report For 2050

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Birta Líf Kristinsdóttir, a meteorologist with the Icelandic Met Office has posted a video of what a weather report might look like in Iceland in July 2050, reports RÚV. The video has been made in conjunction with the UN Climate Change Summit in New York next week. By 2050, Birta Líf predicts that Iceland will be much greener with summer temperatures reaching between 20-30 degrees celsius. She also goes over the ramifications of the warmer climate and how it might effect the acidification of the sea. Check out her video below, the first half is in Icelandic (subtitled) but stick

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Cardboard Cutout Stolen, Hijinks Ensue

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A stolen cardboard cutout of actor and comedian Pétur Jóhann Sigfússon has been taken on a Facebook adventure, reports DV. The cutout of Pétur, who best known internationally for co-writing and starring in Næturvaktin alongside Jón Gnarr, was stolen from Hagkaup supermarket in Reykjanesbær. Since then cardboard Pétur – or Pappír Pési (Paper Pete) as the cutout is referred to in the media – has been to the tanning salon, worked at a kiosk in Grindavík, and checked out a farm. Paper Pete’s extensive adventures over the past few days have been documented on a Facebook page though the police say

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Pet Cockroaches Seized By Customs

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Icelandic Customs Officers recently seized 3 Madagascar cockroaches in a plastic container, reports RÚV. A foreign traveller brought them over and was stopped at the airport on his way into the country and informed the Customs Officers that they were his pets. His fiancé had convinced him to take them along so that he would not be bored while staying in Iceland. Importing living animals into Iceland is illegal, so the gentleman’s pet roaches were confiscated by the authorities.

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PM Baffled By Union Criticism

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Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson told parliament he was very surprised by the harsh criticisms the proposed budget has received from labour unions. RÚV reports that Social Democrat MP Árni Páll Árnason asked the Prime Minister what his response was to yesterday’s statement from the Confederation of Icelandic Labour Unions (ASÍ) on the proposed 2015 budget. The Prime Minister said the response surprised him and “came out of nowhere”. He contends that the proposed budget was crafted with the aim of helping Icelandic households, adding that the response was especially surprising “considering ASÍ president [Gylfi Arnbjörnsson] expressed great displeasure throughout

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Foreign Minister Unsure About Sanctions Against Israel

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Minister of Foreign Affairs Gunnar Bragi Sveinsson told parliament that he was unsure whether now is the time to engage in sanctions against Israel. MBL reports that the Minister, responding to a question from Social Democrat MP (and former Foreign Minister) Össur Skarphéðinsson on whether or not Iceland should start sanctions or embargos against Israel, was hesitant at best about the idea. “Regarding whether the time has come to initiate sanctions or an embargo against Israel, I am not sure if this is the right thing to do at this stage,” he said. “I’m not sure about that.” However, the

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Sulphur Dioxide Cloud Moving West And South

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The cloud of SO2 emanating from the Holuhraun eruption is moving both further west and further south. The Icelandic Met Office reports that the SO2 from the Holuhraun eruption has already spread over a large portion of the country. Currently, it covers a large portion of central Iceland, extending northwest to Blönduós and east across northern Vatnajökull. Tomorrow, however, the distribution of SO2 is forecast to look a lot like the above illustration. As can be seen, the SO2 is spreading, and extending further south and west, and reaching the southeast coast. However, bear in mind that SO2 levels are

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