From Iceland — National Queer Association To Report Deputy State Prosecutor For Hate Speech

National Queer Association To Report Deputy State Prosecutor For Hate Speech

Published July 26, 2022

Photo by
Art Bicnick

The National Queer Association (Samtökin ’78), an LGBTQ+ organisation in Iceland, will report Deputy State Prosecutor Helgi Magnús Gunnarsson to the police today because of his comments about LGBTQ+ people and asylum seekers, reports Fréttablaðið.

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The association’s manager, Daníel E. Arnarsson (above), says the organisation believes Helgi’s comments fall under hate speech, which is punishable by up to two years in prison. According to Daniel, the complaint will be filed today.

“These are not just distasteful comments, but these are very serious comments and they can have great consequences,” Daníel says.

“Lack of gays?”

“Who doesn’t lie to save themselves? Apart from that, is there a lack of gays in Iceland?,” Helgi wrote on Facebook during a news agency’s discussion of the LGBTQ+ asylum seeker’s experience of being accused of lying about his sexuality.

The comments provoked a strong reaction and the state prosecutor says the comments are under review. Minister of Justice Jón Gunnarsson says Helgi’s comments are offensive.

Systematic prejudice

Daníel says the comments speak for themselves. Helgi is undermining the rule of law he works for, “so I don’t know who it is supposed to serve,” he adds.

He says the comments show that systematic prejudice against this group has been going on for a long time. Therefore, such issues need to be addressed within the appropriate institutions.

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