Humiliating Deportation of Icelandic Tourist from US
What follows is a HUGE story in Iceland. So far, the only English language publication to pick it up is Gulf Times which carries the English translation of the Agence France-Presse wire.
Iceland’s government said yesterday that it had summoned the US ambassador to Reykjavik to protest the treatment of an Icelandic tourist who says she was recently shackled and humiliated before being deported from JFK airport in New York.
Erla Ósk Arnardóttir, 33, arrived at the John F Kennedy International Airport last Sunday for a pre-holiday shopping trip in New York City, and was detained for having overstayed a tourist visa to the US by three weeks in 1995.
She also said she had been body-searched and submitted to hostile, aggressive and humiliating interrogations, and had been asked questions like “When did you have your last period?” and “Have you ever tried to commit suicide?”
Arnardottir’s account of her ordeal sparked outrage across Iceland, an Arctic island nation of some 300,000 people.
Yesterday Foreign Minister Ingibjorg Solrum Gisladottir summoned US Ambassador Carol Van Voorst to protest Arnardottir’s treatment and demand an apology, the foreign ministry said.
There's not much in English about this story. Iceland Review Online carries a brief summary. Two blogs, The Iceland Weather Report and Deep Muck Big Rake, picked it up. Both are worth a read but most especially The Iceland Weather Report as you'll get a good sense of public reaction. Needless to say, it's not good. The people of Iceland are outraged.
The following links are in Icelandic. Free online translation services (such as InterTran) are extremely limited at giving a good sense of what's being discussed but the general meaning should come through for those who are interested.
Erla Osk Arnardottir's Blog - has over 460 comments.
Yfirheyrð um tíðahring sinn - news story
Icelandic Television - in the first segment, Erla Ósk Arnardóttir is being interviewed. She is the woman with white hair sitting to the left.