Alleged homophobia at the highest level

28.07.2022 - 11:45
Mynd: RÚV / RÚV
Samtökin ’78, the national LGBTQ+ organisation, has this week made a formal police complaint against the deputy state prosecutor for his comments about refugees and gay men.

The managing director of the charity says the office of the state prosecutor has been tarnished by the comments of its deputy leader, which he says were slanderous, and possibly even hate speech.

The comments are being investigated by the state prosecutor, who says they do not represent the opinions of the office.

“It is really important that this is processed at the official level, because we mustn’t forget this is not just some guy writing this and having these opinions. Rather, we are talking about the deputy state prosecutor, and that comes with a lot of responsibility,” explains Samtökin ’78 head Daníel E. Arnarsson.

Helgi Magnús Gunnarsson, the deputy state prosecutor, took to Facebook late last week to express his view that migrants often lie about their sexual orientation in order to try and secure international protection in Iceland; going on to ask whether there is any shortage of gays in Iceland already.

“The fact is that under the penal code, it is very clear that if an individual is defamatory or abusive to a particular group, that needs investigation and that this can lead to fines or other [punishment]. What he is doing is undermining a certain trust, not only towards the judiciary, but also towards this group that is queer refugees, or queer men generally,” Daníel says.

State prosecutor Sigríður Friðjónsdóttir is investigating her deputy’s comments. She told RÚV that the comments do not in any way reflect the opinions of her office towards the groups singled out.

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Alexander Elliott
Fréttastofa RÚV