National Hospital Nurse Charged with Manslaughter

Landspítali national hospital

A nurse in the psychiatric ward of Landsspítali has been charged with manslaughter and crimes committed during public employment.

The nurse is accused of having culpably caused the death of a psychiatric patient by force-feeding them. The victim in question is said to be a woman in her fifties. It is alleged that the nurse force-fed her liquid food to the point of choking.

Anna Barbara Andradóttir, prosecutor at the district attorney’s office, confirmed this in a recent statement to RÚV.

The accused is a woman in her sixties, who had previously worked in department 33C at Landsspítali. The charges were brought against her about two weeks ago.

The case was first made known August of last year. Source report that the investigation has been wide in scope, with some 20 witnesses in total called to give an account.

The case is scheduled to be heard in court this January.

 

 

Rights of Fishermen Regularly Violated, According to Chairperson of Icelandic Seamen’s Association

fishing in Iceland

In a recent report by RÚV, Bergur Þorkelsson, chairperson of the Icelandic Seamen’s Association, states that the rights of seamen are regularly violated.

By law, seamen are allowed up to two months’ of wages if they fall ill or injured during their employment period. However, according to Bergur, “traditional” expectations in the fishing industry mean that it is often difficult for seamen to actually take the leave they are entitled to.

This was recently illustrated by the case of a seaman who lost his job after taking a sick leave, which he was legally entitled to, for mental health reasons.

Read more: Never Fewer Accidents at Sea

According to Bergur, the culture of the fishing industry in Iceland means that seamen are often stigmatized for taking their sick leave. In an industry that has traditionally been very dangerous, this is especially problematic, as seamen feeling able to take off when they are unwell is important for both the safety of the individual and crew. “This is a problem,” Bergur stated to RÚV. “Seamen are all on their own, and need to be tough guys who don’t bother anyone about anything. We get cases like this often. I haven’t seen anything about mental illness until this case, but it’s common for seamen to avoid applying for benefits for fear of losing their jobs.”

The violation of the legal rights of seamen is further complicated by the nature of their employment contracts. Because work in the fishing industry is seasonal, a seaman may not be directly let go because of illness. Instead, he may simply not be re-hired for the next season. This grey area allows fishing companies the ability to deny that they may be discriminating against seamen who are simply making use of their legal rights.

Many aspects of the Icelandic fishing industry are still very traditional. This is a problem, states Bergur, because in many cases, work contracts can be informal and verbal. Fishing companies may verbally promise fishermen to be re-hired, but when they spend some time ashore, they show up to work after several weeks and find they’ve been let go. In these cases, because the seaman are not even aware of their termination, they have not had the opportunity to look for employment elsewhere, which can severely undermine their job security.

 

Refugee Man and Family Previously Deported Win Case

Héraðsdómur Reykjavíkur Reykjavík District Court

The District Court of Reykjavík has decided that the November deportation of Hussein Hussein and his family was illegal. Now, following the decision, Hussein and his family are back in Iceland after they were deported to Greece.

In a statement from Albert Björn Lúðvíksson, a lawyer at Claudia & Partners law firm, the firm representing the refugee family, the “legal basis for the deportation was not justified.” Additionally, he stated that: “the Immigration and Asylum Appeals Board judged their case to have been overdue. This remains unproven, and even if true, it is insignificant, as the Icelandic State stills bears responsibility for the procedure and any delays that have occurred.”

Read more: Protests in Wake of Deportations

Hussein Hussein is a refugee from Iraq who uses a wheelchair. His deportation in November of this year caused widespread outrage when footage surfaced on social media of authorities forcefully removing him from his wheelchair. The incident also caused controversy, as airport authorities attempted to suppress media coverage of the deportations.

At the time of the deportation, many expressed concern that Greece lacked facilities and resources for refugees with disabilities.

Although Hussein and his family have won their suit against the Immigration and Asylum Appeals Board, it is still possible for state representatives to appeal the case to the Court of Appeals. At this time, state representatives have made no comments with regard to this possibility.

Claudia Wilson, the family’s lawyer, has stated that the family arrived in Iceland over the weekend.

In statements to RÚV, the family has thanked everyone who has helped them so far in the case. They state that Hussein’s sisters intend to be back in school as soon as possible.