Hundreds of citizens gathered yesterday outside the police headquarters in Reykjavík to protest the management of a controversial rape case that has garnered much attention in local news and social media.
The protest was organized by Oddný Arnarsdóttir and served both to demand action from police and to show support for survivors of sexual assault. Many people came forward to speak publicly about their experiences. The head of the police department, Sigríður Björk Guðjónsdóttir, attempted to engage the crowd but was forced back inside as the crowd booed her off the podium.
Of particular concern to the protesters was the fact that two men who had been arrested on charges of rape were released from police custody after being held for a short duration. During that time, police said they investigated an apartment that was allegedly the location of two separate incidents of rape with two different women, both university students. After being released, the two men have reportedly left the country.
As the tension at the protest last night escalated and the crowd grew louder and louder, it became clear that the gathering was an outlet where people expressed outrage about not just this specific case, but about the way in which the legal system in Iceland deals in general with all cases involving sexual assault.