From Iceland — Icelandic Statesman, Accused Of Sexual Harassment, May Have Abused His Official Powers

Icelandic Statesman, Accused Of Sexual Harassment, May Have Abused His Official Powers

Published January 17, 2019

Andie Sophia Fontaine
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The daughter of Jón Baldvin Hannibalsson has come forward, detailing how her father used his official positions to attempt to silence her, conceivably using his official status to deal with personal matters.

As reported, four women have come forward detailing sexual harassment they suffered at the hands of Jón Baldvin Hannibalsson, a former Foreign Minister, social democrat MP and ambassador. These cases stretch back to the 1960s, with the most recent incident occurring only last summer, but instances of sexual harassment from him last appeared in the Icelandic media in 2012.

Aldís Schram, a daughter of Jón Baldvin, spoke candidly with radio programme Morgunútvarpið on Rás 2 this morning, mentioning two incidents in particular. For background, Jón Baldvin was the Foreign Minister of Iceland from 1988 to 1995, and ambassador to the US from 1998 to 2002.

In the first incident, which took place in 1992, she says that she confronted her father after an old classmate of hers told her that he had sexually harassed her. She contends that this conversation led directly to him having her committed to a mental hospital.

She contends that, in his positions as minister and then ambassador, he was able to use his position to send communiques to the Ministry of Justice requesting that she be committed. Morgunútvarpið is in position of these communiques, one of which is written on the official stationery of the Embassy of Iceland in Washington, and the other communique he signs it as an ambassador.

The second incident took place in 1998. According to Aldís, police entered her home with a doctor and an unnamed family member, but the doctor and the police later left without taking her into custody. The police report on the incident registered the incident as “assistance with a foreign embassy”.

Aldís has emphatically stated that her mental health is fine, going so far as to post two documents; one a written statement from a doctor of psychology and the other from a health clinic, both of which state that Aldís exhibits no signs of mental illness. These documents are dated 2014 and 2012, respectively.

Jón Baldvin has not yet responded to this news.

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