Musician May Face Hate Speech Charges

Musician May Face Hate Speech Charges

Published August 30, 2014

Photos by
Alísa Kalyanova

An Icelandic musician who has been an outspoken opponent of the Reykjavík Pride festival may be looking at hate speech charges for his remarks about the LGBT community.

Gylfi Ægisson, a musician who has made his opposition to Reykjavík Pride publicly known on more than one occasion, did so again in the comments of a news article on the festival. There, he said that homosexuals were categorically child molesters, and that they hope to “brainwash” children – accusations he has made before.

Kristín Sævarsdóttir, one of the organisers of Reykjavík Pride, has decided that enough is enough. Vísir reports that she is considering filing hate speech charges against him.

Iceland’s hate speech law is covered by Article 233(a) of the Icelandic Penal Code, which states: “Anyone who in a ridiculing, slanderous, insulting, threatening or any other manner publicly assaults a person or a group of people on the basis of their nationality, skin colour, race, religion or sexual orientation, shall be fined or jailed for up to 2 years,” where “assault” refers to both physical and verbal attacks.

While Kristín has not taken a definitive decision on the matter, she told reporters that “this is an ugly message he is sending young people, whether young people who are facing the fact that they are gay, or just children who have gay friends.”

Last November, Gylfi filed charges of his own against Reykjavík Pride, citing Article 93 of the Child Protection Law, which states that concerts and festivals of a sexual nature must prohibit children under the age of 18 from being present. Police refused to investigate the charges, saying that they had no merit.

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