More than one might be behind the attack
Police are going over footage from surveillance cameras among other things in the investigation of the attack on Tuesday night. Composite image/Eggert
Eiríkur Valberg, a police officer with the Central Bureau of Investigation's police department in the capital area, says there are suspicions that more than one person was involved in the attack on a man who was a guest at the Samtökin 78 conference Tuesday night.
The National Queer Association Samtökin 78 had reported that an attendee on their conference was attacked and had to go to hospital as a result.
Valberg says the prosecution of the case is in its beginning stages. Police are now gathering evidence in the case, which includes, among other things, looking at the footage from surveillance cameras.
Asked if the attack is being investigated as a hate crime, he says it is one of the things the police force is looking at. He could not provide further details about the condition of the visitor who suffered the attack.
"This is a conference we were supporting and we were just addressing this situation and then what we are talking about happens," the Prime Minister says. Composite image
Very serious if this stems from a hate crime
Katrín Jakobsdóttir, the Prime Minister, said she is stunned by the reports that the conference attendee of the conference of Samtökin 78 was attacked on Tuesday night. She plans to undertake the measures she can in order to raise awareness of hate speech in society.
“If there are such reasons behind it, of course, it’s just very serious,” Jakobsdóttir tells mbl.is.
The topic of the conference was backlash against the LBTQI comunity
“I was really struck by reading these reports, because I was there yesterday and there was so much positivity and power,” Jakobsdóttir says.
The Prime Minister chaired a meeting of the Nordic Ministerial Committee on equality and queer issues yesterday. The backlash in the battle for rights for queer people was then especially discussed. The Conference was held in cooperation between The National Queer Association Samtökin 78 and the Prime Ministry and the Nordic Ministerial Committee.
"This is a conference we were supporting and we were just addressing this situation and then what we are talking about happens," the Prime Minister says.
The backlash is being discussed worldwide
Jakobsdóttir points out that, alongside legal improvement to queer rights, a backlash against the queer community has been apparent “which all the Nordic countries have experienced and is furthermore being discussed worldwide.”
This spring, the Prime Minister submitted a special action plan against hate speech, which met with some opposition in the Parliament. However, Jakobsdóttir plans to present a revised plan for the Parliament, but until then, to make the most of the effort to raise awareness of hate speech in society.
“I have decided to take [the action plan] into consideration, but I have decided to undertake the actions I can undertake myself, as prime minister,” she says.
“I think it needs to be done. In fact, anti-hate speech is not about curtailing people's freedom of expression. It's about people not curtailing other people's freedoms systematically through hate speech and disrespectful behaviour.”