Reykjavik District Court was the scene yesterday for the start of legal proceedings in the so-called Klaustur Case, as four members of Parliament for the Centre Party want to question and seek damages from Bára Halldórsdóttir, who recorded the four, along with two MPs for the People’s Party, speaking abusively about their female colleagues at Klaustur bar last month. These recordings were later passed on to local media, who have reported on them extensively.
There was a large turnout of supporters for Bára. Numerous members of parliament and the general public have expressed shock and outrage at the misogynist, ableist and homophobic remarks that have been revealed in the recordings, and recent polls show the vast majority of Icelanders want the six parliamentarians involved to resign.
Bára soon arrived, receiving a warm welcome from the crowd. Conspicuously absent were the four MPs who have accused of her “spying”, and who have questioned her version of how she made the recordings of their conversation on her phone.
Supporters held signs reading slogans such as “Amoral Parliament”, reflecting a common sentiment amongst Icelanders these days. As Bára entered the halls of court to applause from her supporters, amongst those who turned out to show their support included former Reykjavik mayor Jón Gnarr, Socialist Reykjavík city councilperson Sanna Magdalena Mörtudóttir and Freyja Háraldsdóttir, a disabled MP who was mocked by one of the six MPs on the Klaustur recording.
While the parliamentarians argue that their right to privacy had been violated by the recordings, Bára recorded them in a public space, and was seated several tables away from their conversation, which was still loud enough to be heard by anyone nearby. How the court will rule still remains to be seen.
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