No Borders Iceland Takes Issue With Minister’s Speech

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Published November 21, 2012

No Borders Iceland has released a statement saying that the Minister of the Interior shows an inconsistent policy when he talks about how the people of Gaza are being treated.
As reported, protests were held in front of the US embassy Monday evening, wherein about 1,000 people voiced opposition to American support of Israel, which is currently engaged in a military campaign with Gaza. Among the attendees was Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson, who gave a speech saying in part, “How many children will be killed before the ten o’ clock news.”
No Borders Iceland has issued a statement to the press, saying that the minister – while showing empathy for people living in Gaza – seems to have no compunction with sending asylum seekers back to the region. They point out that Iraqi asylum seeker Ahmed Alqaysi, who is currently in police custody in Suðurnes, will soon be sent back to similar conditions the people in Gaza now face.
“One could ask the minister [in response to his question], ‘How many asylum seekers will be sent to their deaths before the end of the month?’” the statement says in part.
They go on to point out that many of those who come to Iceland as refugees are themselves trying to escape war, and that while it may be easy for the minister to speak about those living in Gaza under the threat of war, Iceland’s refugee policy – which in almost every instance deports those seeking asylum back to their last point of departure – often times sends asylum seekers into similar conditions.



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Family Found Wandering On Glacier

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A tourist operator stumbled across a family wandering around on Langjökull glacier yesterday. Langjökull is quite dangerous for those unfamiliar with the area and has whirlpools reaching 100-200 metres down into the glacier.  “I asked [the father] what he was doing,” the director of ICE Explorer, Arngrímur Hermannsson, told RÚV. “He answered: Am I maybe doing something I shouldn’t be doing?” The family of five, two adults and three children, had driven onto the glacier in a rented car and on roads typically used by tour companies driving eight-wheelers equipped for extreme weather. “This is the best way to get on Langjökull glacier and

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Earthquakes Continue To Rattle Bárðarbunga

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Jón Gnarr To Appeal Name Change Case

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Former Mayor of Reykjavík Jón Gnarr plans to appeal a decision by the National Registry which prevents him from changing his legal name to Jón Gnarr. Vísir reports that Jón recently filed a formal request with the National Registry to change his name from Jón Gnarr Kristinsson to just Jón Gnarr, as he has been known for decades. The Registry rejected the request, saying in part that “it is illegal to take up a new surname in Iceland.” Jón says that this is not true in practice, pointing out that foreigners who receive Icelandic citizenship are allowed to keep their

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Group To Teach Icelanders How To Boycott Goods From Israel

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A group of Icelanders hopes to educate the general public on how to avoid buying products from Israel. DV reports that the group, called BDS Ísland, hopes to bring to light which Icelandic companies are importing and selling Israeli goods. The “BDS” in the group’s name stands for “Boycott, Divestment, Sanctions”. The movement is an extension of the Facebook group “We don’t buy products from Israel”, wherein Icelanders post Israeli goods that they find on store shelves here in Iceland. Sema Erla Serdar, the chairperson of BDS Ísland, hopes to assemble and organise this information, and then make it more

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Interior Minister Threatened Police, Considering Resigning

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Interior Minister Hanna Birna Kristjánsdóttir reportedly threatened the former police commissioner with an investigation of her own, and her assistants tried to influence his statements to the press. This and more has come to light in a new letter from the Parliamentary Ombudsman. Parliamentary Ombudsman Tryggvi Gunnarsson today published another letter to Hanna Birna, asking for more information in light of her answers to his previous letter and his conversations with former Commissioner of the Capital Area Police Stefán Eiríksson. In the course of the Ombudsman’s interview with Stefán, the former commissioner says that Hanna Birna had, on many occasions,

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40 More Acts Announced For Iceland Airwaves

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After the big reveal of The Knife’s Iceland Airwaves performance last week, the festival has released 40 new additions for the 2014 edition. The announcement includes a fine selection of local artists, including Grapevine’s band of the year Sin Fang, the Ólafur Arnalds/Janus Rasmussen techno partnership Kiasmos, emerging nu-electronica maestro M-Band, and bearded musical polymath Mugison. From abroad, the UK indie label Domino Records will send over two of their finest, with virtuoso guitarist Anna Calvi bringing her dramatic sound to Reykjavík, alongside label-mate How To Dress Well. They’re joined by Bella Union’s indie-psych band Horse Thief, Canadian noise-rock outfit

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