News
British Passport Granted To Harriet “Girl” Cardew

British Passport Granted To Harriet “Girl” Cardew

Photos by
Grapevine Archive

Published June 26, 2014

A 10-year-old Icelandic girl whose birth name, Harriet, was not recognised by the National Registry has received an emergency British passport for temporary use. Her family is also filing a formal complaint against the National Registry.

Vísir reports that the emergency passport, granted by the British embassy, will only be used for Harriet to travel with her family to France. She can receive a permanent British passport on her return, but that process takes six weeks to complete.

Meanwhile, Harriet’s parents have decided to file a formal complaint against the National Registry with the Ministry of the Interior. National Registry official Sólveig Guðmundsdóttir told reporters that, as of 2010, all Icelandic passports must contain legally recognised first or middle names. As Harriet’s name was rejected by the Name Committee, Sólveig contends, the Registry cannot legally give her a passport. Harriet’s parents, however, argue that nowhere in the Law On Passports is it stated that the full name in an Icelandic passport must have Name Committee approval.

As reported, Harriet Cardew is the daughter of an Icelandic mother and a British father. She and her eleven-year-old brother Duncan are currently listed as Stúlka and Drengur Cardew — Girl and Boy Cardew — in the National Registry because their names have not been approved by the Name Committee.

The committee approves new names based on two primary factors: whether the name has some historical precedent and whether it can be declined in accordance with Icelandic grammar.

The committee has faced increasing criticism and challenges. In February 2013, Blær Bjarkardóttir Rúnarsdóttir finally won a long legal battle to have her first name officially accepted into the lexicon. Reykjavík mayor Jón Gnarr has also gone on record as saying the Name Committee represents an “unfair, stupid law against creativity.”


News
Police Officer Wants Limits On Immigrants’ Right To Privacy

Police Officer Wants Limits On Immigrants’ Right To Privacy

by

Police officer Birgir Örn Guðjónsson, colloquially known as Biggi the cop, wrote an article, published in Fréttablaðið/Vísir on Thursday, under a title which may be loosely translated as “The Forbidden Article”. Birgir shares an anecdote about a man “of foreign origin” who, reportedly, would not allow his wife out to party, and claims that this shows the need “to wonder whether the cultures of those who come here are always their private matter.” The article is vague as to which information should, according to the officer, be made public. Its appearance shortly after the leak of confidential documents about one

News
Police Need Machine Guns To Fight Islamic State

Police Need Machine Guns To Fight Islamic State

by

The general police forces need 70 pieces of MP5 submachine guns as soon as possible, 150 soon, and at least 260 such weapons in the long term, to have the upper hand against terrorism, says Jón Bjartmarz, Chief Superintendent at the High Commissioner of the Icelandic Police. Interviewed by RÚV, Jón explained the immediate goal as having “two machine guns at each station house, and there are 35 of those.” One of the threats that Jón cites as a reason for acquiring the artillery is the Islamic State (IS). Jón says that IS is not simply a threat from outside,

News
University of Iceland: A New Linguistic Area

University of Iceland: A New Linguistic Area

by

A new linguistic area has developed at the University of Iceland, where Icelandic and English are used equally, says a professor, as reported by RÚV. The professor adds that this causes problems for a large number of teachers and students, which remain largely unspoken. Even if the majority of courses at the University of Iceland is still taught in Icelandic, in most departments, most of the reading material is provided in English. Meanhile, teachers also face growing demands to publish their research in English. Professors Hafdís Ingvarsdóttir and Birna Arnbjörnsdóttir investigated the use of English at the university, interviewing both

News
Palestinian Ambassador To Visit Iceland

Palestinian Ambassador To Visit Iceland

by

On the 3rd anniversary of Iceland recognising the state of Palestine, the Palestinian ambassador to Iceland (who resides in Oslo, Norway) will be speaking at a special event arranged by the Iceland-Palestine Association. The event which coincides with the UN’s annual day of solidarity with the Palestinian people, will start at 14:00 and is open to all. The ambassador, Mufeed Shami, Iceland’s ambassador to Palestine, María Erla Marelsdóttir, will be speaking at the event and singer Ragnheiður Ólafsdóttir will be performing. As reported, immediately following the meeting at Iðnó, a launch party for Fyrir Gaza will start. Fyrir Gaza is a charity

News
Bárðarbunga Probably Won’t Erupt After All

Bárðarbunga Probably Won’t Erupt After All

by

The Bárðarbunga caldera has sunk by only 50 metres since the Holuhraun eruption began three months ago, indicating that it will not erupt, reports RÚV. Holuhraun on the other hand, continues to erupt and shows no signs of stopping. Scientists with the Institute of Earth Sciences flew over Bárðarbunga and Holuhraun yesterday to collect new data and investigate the likelihood of an eruption at Bárðarbunga caldera. Currently the Holuhraun eruption is fed by lava from underneath Bárðarbunga volcano. “Yes we believe that it’s likely [there will be no eruption in the Bárðarbunga caldera] and that the results we collected on our

News
Proposed Law Defines Minister’s Emergency Decree Powers

Proposed Law Defines Minister’s Emergency Decree Powers

by

On Wednesday, amendments to the Law on civil protection were proposed on Alþingi, defining a Minister’s powers to rule by decree in case of emergencies. This was reported by RÚV. The Minister involved would be any minister in charge of civil protection. Traditionally, this would mean the Minister of the Interior. Currently, however, Prime Minister Sigmundur Davíð Gunnlaugsson resides over such affairs. According to the proposed amendments, when the Police’ Civil Protection unit declares a state of emergency, the Minister can temporarily presume direct control of any business or institution considered vital to secure basic services. That is, to ensure

Show Me More!