Bobby Fischer applies for Icelandic Citizenship

by ChessBase
1/25/2005 – After the Japanese authorities last week refused Fischer's request to be extradited to Iceland the chess legend, who is being held in a Japanese detention facility, has today written to the President of the Icelandic Althingi (picture), applying for Icelandic citizenship. A special law would have to be passed to grant Fischer's request.

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Reykjavik, Monday, January 23, 2005. Einar S. Einarsson, head of the RJF Committee – Iceland, informed us that in the morning a formal letter from Bobby Fischer was received. In this the former world chess champion requests Icelandic citizenship. The letter was addressed to the Icelandic Parliament and arrived by fax.

Mr. Halldor Blöndal (picture left), President of Althingi received, at very short notice, two members of the RJF Committee, who presented Bobby's handwritten letter and discussed it with the President very positively in an hour-long meeting. Later the letter was submitted by Mr. Blöndal to the Directorate Commission of the Parliament, which decided to place it for the General Committee, where it will be on the agenda in the first meeting later this week after the mid-winter intermission.

Last week the Japanese Justice authorities turned down Bobby's plea to release him from detention and let him go to Iceland. In his letter Bobby thanks the Icelandic Nation for its friendship and writes: “Unfortunately, the Icelandic authorities' recent offer of residence and of entry to Iceland without a passport has not sufficed to prompt the hardheaded and hard-hearted Japanese authorities/kidnappers to let me go to your excellent country.”

A special law is required to grant Fischer an Icelandic citizenship.

The atmosphere for Bobby's request is quite positive as he is considered to be a part of Iceland's modern Saga. Still handling of this special matter may take some weeks – but at least a week or two as a minimum. There is a precedent for such a speedy handling.

Fischer's letter

Ushiku, Japan, January 19, 2005

Althingi: The Icelandic Parliament
150 Reykjavik

Honorable members of Althingi:

I, the undersigned Robert James Fischer sincerely thank the Icelandic Nation for the friendship it has shown to me ever since I came to your country many years ago and competed for the title of World Champion in chess – and even before that.

I would like to take the liberty of presenting the following request to Althingi. For the past 6 months I have been forcibly and illegally imprisoned in Japan on the completely false and ludicrous grounds that I entered Japan on April 15, 2004 and that I "departed" or attempted to depart Japan on July 13, 2004 with an invalid passport.

During this period my health has steadily deteriorated. I've been dizzy all of the time for about the past 2 months now. Incidentally, it's been very carefully blacked out in the press but it just so happens that I'm the very oldest prisoner here in the East Japan Immigration Detention Center. Not to mention the fact that when the Narita Airport Immigration Security authorities brutally and violently "arrested" me (actually it was nothing but a kidnapping and everybody knows it) I was seriously injured and very nearly killed. Furthermore it is surely not beneficial to my health either physically or psycologically that they´ve dragged me here to Ushiku which is only about 66 kilometers from the leaking Tokaimura nuclear power plant (Japan´s Chernobyl!) in Tokyo City. They just had another nuclear accident there on Ocober 14, 2004!

And now, unfortunately, the Icelandic authorities' recent offer of residence and of entry to Iceland without a passport has not sufficed to prompt the hardheaded and hard-hearted Japanese authorities/kidnappers to let me go to your excellent country.

In case you're wondering why I have no U.S. passport it's because within 24 hours of "arresting" me the U.S. and Japanese authorities working in collusion illegally confiscated and physically destroyed my perfectly valid U.S. passport # 27792702! Neither the Japanese nor the American authorities have ever bothered to offer any explanation or justification whatsoever for this outrageous criminal act. Apparently they're strictly heeding Disraeli's advice which was to: "Never apologize, never explain!"

Because of all the foregoing I would therefore like to formally request that Althingi grant me Icelandic citizenship so that I may actually enjoy the offer of residence in Iceland that your Minister for Foreign Affairs Mr. David Oddsson has so graciously extended to me.

Most respectfully,
Bobby Fischer

Robert James Fischer (born 9 March 1943)
signed this 19th day of January at Ushiku, Japan.

Previous ChessBase articles

Bobby Fischer – immigration plans on ice
22.01.2005 His supporters filed a petition that Fischer might be released from detention in a Tokyo jail and allowed to travel to Iceland, where he has been granted refuge. But Japanese Justice Ministry lawyers said they were not prepared to change Fischer's deportation destination to Iceland, and that he would have to remain in detention. A harsh blow for the chess legend.

Bobby Fischer – six months in jail
1/17/2005 On July 13, 2004 he was arrested at Narita Airport in Tokyo, for attempting to leave the country on an invalidated. Since then the greatest hero of Western chess has been languishing in a Japanese detention facility, now physically exhausted and suffering from dizzy spells. His Icelandic friends, who are offering him refuge, have launched another appeal to the authorities.

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