Nara Walker, ástralska listakonan sem hlaut dóm hér á landi fyrir að bíta framan af tungu fyrrverandi eiginmanns hennar þegar til átaka kom á milli þeirra í nóvember 2017, hefur kært íslenska ríkið til Mannréttindadómstóls Evrópu fyrir brot á mannréttindum hennar við meðferð málsins, samkvæmt tilkynningu frá almannatengslafyrirtækinu KOM.
Þar kemur fram að safnast hafi 43 þúsund undirskriftir henni til stuðnings sem hún hyggist afhenda forseta Alþingis á miðvikudag og hún hafi ritað bréf til þingmanna á Íslandi um mál sitt:
„Ég afhendi þetta söfnun og beini því til þingmanna á löggjafarþinginu að búa svo um hnúta að heimilisofbeldi, ofbeldi í nánum samböndum og kynbundið ofbeldi, sé ekki liðið á Íslandi,“ segir hún í bréfinu, sem sent var síðdegis á föstudag. „Ég tel mál mitt endurspegla alvarlegar brotalamir í íslensku réttarkerfi þegar kemur að málum sem snúa að ofbeldi gegn konum og heimilisofbeldi,“
segir í bréfinu, sem birt er í heild sinni neðst í fréttinni.
Þar kemur einnig fram að brot ríkisins varði skort á réttarvernd og hún hafi verið álitin sek, en ekki saklaus, uns sekt hennar hafi verið sönnuð:
„Í kærunni til MDE eru tiltekin brot ríkisins á rétti Nöru sem varði við 3. 6., 8., og 14. grein Mannréttindasáttmála Evrópu. Helstu umkvörtunarefni eru að hún hafi ekki notið réttarverndar sem fórnarlamb heimilisofbeldis þar sem forsaga málsins hafi ekki verið skoðuð og því ekki fallist á að um sjálfsvörn hafi verið að ræða. Þá hafi hún verið álitin sek, en ekki saklaus uns sekt hennar hafi verið sönnuð og ekki verið kynnt réttarstaða sín á tilhlýðilegan máta. Auk þess hafi meðferð hennar hafi verið vanvirðandi, sem meðal annars hafi lýst sér í því að henni hafi verið meinað að leita sér læknisaðstoðar vegna áverka sina. Þá hafi hún mætt mismunun með framangreindri meðferð, sem lýsir sér meðal annars í því að dómur hennar – erlendrar konu – sé þyngri en dómafordæmi eru um í sambærilegum málum.“
Bréf Nöru Walker til þingmanna:
A letter to Althingi from Nara Walker
Dear members of the Icelandic parliament,
I would very much like your presence in Althingi’s Skálinn on June 12th, at 12:00, where I will present Steingrímur J. Sigfússon, Speaker of Althingi, with over 43 thousand signatures collected in an online petition in my support, collected after my wrongful conviction and imprisonment in Iceland. I believe my case reflects severe faults in the Icelandic justice system in cases of violence against women and domestic abuse.
Indeed, the lack of care and understanding from the Icelandic system has left me questioning the value of my life, and in turn, the value of women’s lives – with particular attention brought to women of foreign origin who are the most vulnerable.
Women’s safety needs to be prioritised not only in words – but in action.
I was made a victim by my husband when I attempted to leave him. I have since November 1st 2017, been punished for believing my life was worth more. I have continued my appeal through the Iceland Courts, in the belief that his abuse towards me would be recognised rather than enabled.
If “we” are not legally able to protect our lives whilst under attack, what is there to stop an abuser from attacking their intimate partner?
Women are murdered by the handful every hour (1) worldwide. – There is a direct correlation to intimate partner violence. The statistics are readily available.
Acknowledging what abuse is, is the beginning. It is known that many women do not see that they are in an abusive relationship (2) – even whilst being physically assaulted.
In my Court case, no acknowledgement was made of the violence this man forced upon me, thereby extending the abuse I have suffered.
From interaction with women in Iceland, I have learned that many do not file complaints of abuse as the process is traumatic and the uncertainty of the outcome, leading many to wonder if justice would be called “justice served.” Recent convictions that I have reviewed show perpetrators receiving suspended sentences, while the trauma inflicted upon the victim, lasts a lifetime.
Thus, I present this petition, with signatures from all over the world. So, giving my story a voice which to this day, the Icelandic justice system has failed to listen to.
My story is not unique – though I wish it were – as then the injustice brought upon me would be separate from the current state of affairs. I would like to stress the pain that the abused endure; it is as if some days our heart both stops and flutters simultaneously – our mind races and our vision becomes blurry – our body aches in places it shouldn’t – our steps are fast, and yet we have no energy to move forward – what keeps us going is the belief that tomorrow may be better – the fact is, some of us don’t make the next day.
This petition brings forward testimonies from women around the globe, stories that shed light on a dark subject that affects us physically, mentally and kills women every hour.
This subject must not be pushed aside any longer – as every minute it is – is a minute that is taken away from a woman’s right to safety.
In my case, a man made me a victim because he knew he could. It seems that this system does not recognise self-defence, nor a woman’s plea, nor does it recognise a confession from an abuser as being sufficient evidence. This enables the abuse towards women to continue.
I was beaten by my husband, which resulted in me having a fractured rib, internal bruising to my abdomen, a sprained vertebrae, injuries to my chest and arm along with what was described in court by medical staff as middle finger bruising to my arms (where he held me whilst forcing himself into me.) I suffer from PTSD from the years of abuse, and this has been exacerbated by the treatment I have received here in Iceland.
Landsréttur’s final verdict stated that my description of events was likely to be true, though the judges could – or would not view the action I took as self-defence.
If being beaten up, carried inside my home and forced upon is viewed by the court as acceptable behaviour for a man to act in, then why would domestic-violence end?
In a message from António Guterres (3), the UN Secretary-General, he describes violence against women as a “global pandemic”:
“Violence against women and girls is a global pandemic. It is a moral affront to all women and girls, a mark of shame on all our societies and a major obstacle to inclusive, equitable and sustainable development. At its core, violence against women and girls is the manifestation of a profound lack of respect – a failure by men to recognise the inherent equality and dignity of women. It is an issue of fundamental human rights.
It harms the individual and has far-reaching consequences for families and society. This is also a deeply political issue. Violence against women is tied to broader issues of power and control in our societies. We live in a male-dominated society. Women are made vulnerable to violence through the multiple ways in which we keep them unequal.”
I also bring forward the following section of text, UN Doc report (1) titled;
“Home, the most dangerous place for women, with majority of female homicide victims worldwide killed by partners or family, UNODC study says”
In this report, attention is brought to available data with the number of women murdered globally in the year prior to the release (date 2018.) That number was 87,000, over half being killed by their intimate partners or family members. As António Guterres (3) states this is an issue of fundamental human rights; it is a deeply political issue; women are made vulnerable to violence through the multiple ways in which we are kept unequal.
I am writing this as I believe my fate could have been like the deceased women in this collected data. My reaction gave me a second chance, and because of this, my voice will continue to speak out against gender-based violence – because women deserve to be more than just a number.
Today I am brought to tears when I see young girls in the street; because I can see how far we have come; the knowledge is there – we have the data – we have the papers – we have the lived experiences – the collective consciousness – though with our knowledge I can feel how much we lack in growth.
I am brought to tears because I know that there will be many more girls and women to come in my place – because my husband beat me, tore me apart and my life’s worth has been questioned. I have been punished for believing I deserved to live.
I bring forward this petition and call on the lawmakers to set an example that domestic violence, intimate partner violence and gender-based violence is unacceptable in Iceland. Women don’t need to be made victims in an equal world. My quest for justice from the Icelandic courts is at an end. I have submitted my case to the European Court of Human Rights, where my hopes now lie.