Pamphlets On Civil Rights For Concert-Goers

Pamphlets On Civil Rights For Concert-Goers

Published July 11, 2014

Andie Sophia Fontaine
Photo by
Matthew Eisman

An Icelandic civil rights group will be handing out pamphlets at music festivals informing people of their legal rights when confronted by police.

Snarrótin, a civil rights group in Iceland, has taken issue with the way police conducted themselves at the Secret Solstice music festival, Vísir reports, claiming that “cultural profiling” was used by police to stop and search attendees simply for being young and at a music festival.

In response, Snarrótin has made a pamphlet that outlines an individual’s legal rights when it comes to being stopped by the police, one’s right to an attorney, and under what conditions police may or may not search you.

“We wanted to get started on waking people up,” said Júlía Birgisdóttir, Snarrótin’s treasurer. “So that people can know their rights, be conscious of them, and hopefully stop regular people from having their rights violated.”

The pamphlets, which will also be made into flyers, were put together in conjunction with lawyer Gísla Tryggvason. The main details put across in the pamphlets are:

1. You always have the right to talk to an attorney. If you cannot afford or do not have your own attorney, you can ask the police officer questioning you to contact the Icelandic Bar Association, which has lawyers available 24 hours a day.

2. Unless the police have a court order or a search warrant, the police cannot search you, your backpack or purse, your phone, your car or your home, nor may they search your mail.

3. The only exception to needing a search warrant is for the police officer to have a “reasonable suspicion” that you are in possession of a specific item. The three conditions for such a search are that a) it is necessary to seize the item in question, b) the police have a reasonable suspicion that a crime was committed, and c) the aforementioned crime is one that could result in jail time.

4. Body cavity searches may only be conducted with the approval of a doctor.

5. Article 65 of the Icelandic constitution states that “[e]veryone shall be equal before the law and enjoy human rights irrespective of sex, religion, opinion, national origin, race, colour, property, birth or other status. Men and women shall enjoy equal rights in all respects.”

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