Jailed youth returns home to Iceland

After a long and unsuccessful campaign by the Rights Justice Freedom group, the 24-year-old Icelandic prisoner, Aron Palmi Agustsson, finished his ten-year prison sentence in Texas and returned to Iceland on August 26th.

In 1997, Agustsson was sentenced in Texas after being convicted of sexually violating a young boy at the age of 13. He first went to a juvenile detention facility, then to Giddings maximum restriction facility in Texas and lastly four years in Beaumont, Texas under house arrest and with a GPS monitor secured around his ankle.

The RJF group first noticed Agustsson’s case three years ago and have been petitioning with the boy’s family to have him returned to Iceland to serve his sentence there.

Head of the RJF, Einar S. Einarsson said, “The Icelandic government has from the very start done all they can to have young Agustsson released or transferred back home to serve out his sentence in an Icelandic institution for juveniles.”

In order to secure the transfer of Agustsson from Texas to Iceland, RJF worked with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Icelandic Embassy in Washington. “Despite an international agreement about the Transfer of Sentenced Persons -the COE Convention- everything has been in vain as the Office of the Governor of Texas appears not to recognize the international deals made by the US Department of State in Washington,” Einarsson claimed. “Our officials and we might as well have spoken to a rock.”

Agustsson was born to two Icelandic parents and is a citizen of Iceland. He and his mother moved to Texas in 1985 where they lived with his American stepfather.

“All Agustsson did was to fiddle with the genitalia of his seven-year-old playmate when he was a child himself. It was a childish mistake for which he would not have been imprisoned in Iceland and probably nowhere else in the United States but Texas,” Einarsson stated.

Agustsson has been able to study whilst under house arrest and has been learning about behavioural psychology from Lamar University. He was elected to the student council during his time there and he was the chairman of the editing committee for the student yearbook.

Agustsson hopes to continue his studies in Iceland and continue writing a book about the justice system in Texas and his experiences there.

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