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Icelandic woman chained on arrival at JFK for 1995 overstay

By       Message Peter Dearman       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   36 comments

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An attractive tall, blond, blue-eyed Icelandic woman, Erla Ósk Arnardóttir Lilliendahl, arrived in New York on December 3 to do some Christmas shopping. She had overstayed a tourist visa some ten years earlier, but this was enough of an excuse for the DHS staff to abduct her for a little game of torture the prisoner.

She was chained, interrogated, photographed, fingerprinted, denied sleep and phone calls and publicly humiliated in front of other travellers at the hands of those she called, Small kings with megalomania.

In this December 20 story in Iceland Review, the oldest English magazine in the country, we learn that Stewart Baker, Assistant Secretary for Policy for the US Ministry of Homeland Security (sic), confirmed the assault by apologizing for it. Earlier reports in the same magazine on December 13 and 14 described her ordeal and suggested her case was similar to others, one involving a young Icelandic mother and her 8-year-old daughter who were reportedly held in a dirty, bedless room for 15 hours prior to being deported.

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Erla’s own account can be read on her blog, or here, translated into English by a certified translator.

The real story is how such sensational news was kept out of the mainstream media. A single story appeared in the International Herald Tribune, so why not in its parent publication, the New York Times? And it is worth noting that the Qatar Gulf Times was apparently unique among newspapers for running the AFP wire story on the incident.


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Peter Dearman is a Canadian teaching English and living in Taiwan. He is concerned about the generally high level of bad things happening in the world today, especially on the matters of depleted uranium, repression in Burma, stolen elections, organ (more...)

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Icelandic woman chained on arrival at JFK for 1995 overstay