From Iceland — Pirate Party MP Seeks Answers, Wants Drugging Drinks To Be Criminalised

Pirate Party MP Seeks Answers, Wants Drugging Drinks To Be Criminalised

Published March 25, 2022

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Screenshot/Parliament livestream

Lenya Rún Taha Karim, a deputy MP for the Pirate Party, was a guest on the radio show Reykjavík síðdegis yesterday, wherein she discussed the widespread problem of women having their drinks drugged by strangers when they go to bars and clubs.

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As reported, despite it being a widespread and well known phenomenon that there is a significant risk taken when women go to clubs that someone might attempt to drug their drinks–to the extent that the police and the Ministry of Justice are aware of the problem–there exists no exact numbers in terms of how many people are drugged in this fashion.

Hrönn Stefánsdóttir, the project manager for sexual assault emergency services, told RÚV last October that when a person who comes to the emergency room after a sexual assault, a blood test for potential drugging is not conducted unless a criminal investigation has been started.

Lenya Rún said that neither Landspítali hospital nor the police have any exact numbers on these cases. Furthermore, and most puzzlingly, drugging someone’s drug without their knowledge or consent is not even criminalised by Icelandic law.

While the police have encouraged people to keep their eyes open when they go clubbing, and to report any suspicious behaviour they witness, including seeing someone drug someone’s drink, Lenya Rún believes the matter needs to be taken further.

“We could take things a step further and put the responsibility on the perpetrator,” she said. “The first step would be to make drugging a criminal offense in the General Penal Code. Right now, it’s not. I submitted a parliamentary proposal on the matter, and that’s the first step.”

Awareness being raised of the problem is well and good, she says, but not enough has been done in response to the problem.

“The first MeToo wave started a few years ago,” she said. “I find it odd that nothing substantial has been done about this yet, apart from raising awareness rather than passing legislation. It’s a great campaign, and I appreciate that we’re making people aware of this, but we need to take it further.”

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