Fischer's appeal rejected

by ChessBase
7/28/2004 – Bobby Fischer's appeal against his deportation was rejected today by Japanese authorities. Meanwhile the Icelandic Chess Federation has appealed to US president Bush to pardon Fischer and set up a petition web site to collect signatures. In Tokyo a "Free Fischer Press Conference" is scheduled for Thursday. More...

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Japanese immigration officials have rejected Bobby Fischer's appeal against his possible extradition to the US. Fischer had appealed the confiscation of his passport and the proceedings to transfer him from the detention facilities of Narita Airport, Tokyo, where he is currently being held, to the custody of the US legal authorities. Fischer considers the detention a "kidnapping''.

Fischer is being charged for trying to travel on an invalid U.S. passport. The former world chess champion is wanted in the U.S. on charges of violating the International Emergency Economic Powers Act by flying to Yugoslavia to play Boris Spassky in a chess match in 1992.

The rejection of Fischer's appeal against extradition to the US came on Tuesday after the end of a two-day hearing, according to John Bosnitch, a Canadian journalist who acted as an adviser to Fischer during the proceedings. Fischer can appeal again.

Fischer's confiscated passport, which in fact may have been destroyed

"Free Bobby Fischer" Press Conference

The Japanese Chess Federation sent us the following invitation to a press conference to be held on Thursday in Tokyo, Japan.

Press conference "Free Bobby Fischer"
Thursday, July 29, 2004, starting at 1:00 p.m. local time
a t the FCCJ (Yurakucho Denki Bldg) 20th Floor

The 'Committee to Free Bobby Fischer' and the Japan Chess Association hold first-ever press conference to present the entire case, itemizing (with full passport documentation to be circulated) the specific violations of Bobby's rights under both US and Japanese law. They will report on Bobby's condition and the objectives of his worldwide defense effort.

The Committee is now preparing a Provisional Release application and if it succeeds, Bobby Fischer is to attend the conference in person. Speaking for the Committee will be former No. 1 Shimbun editor John Bosnitch, who has been intervening as counsel at the deportation hearing.

The Japan Chess Association will be represented by its president, Ms. Miyoko Watai, who has also been attending the hearing.

Appeal of the Icelandic Chess Federation

The Icelandic Chess Federation has made an appeal to US president George Bush to pardon Fischer. The appeal was handed over to the US ambassador in Reykjavik last Friday.

Reykjavík, 22 July 2004.

Appeal to Mr. George W. Bush, the President of the United States of America, from the Icelandic Chess Federation, to drop charges against Mr. Robert James Fischer

The Icelandic Chess Federation urges Mr. George W. Bush, the President of the United States of America to pardon Mr. Robert James Fischer of any charges for having violated sanctions against the former state of Yugoslavia, by playing a chess match there with Boris Spassky in 1992.

Bobby Fischer devoted the best part of his life solely to the art of chess and reached unprecedented heights and genius in his play. His achievements in the field were such that his name will always inspire awe in the minds of those who appreciate the magic of chess. In 1972 Fischer gave the United States the World Championship Title in Chess after decades of domination by the Soviet Union. Bobby Fischer's victory over Boris Spassky in Reykjavik in 1972 must count as one of the greatest achievements in the history of sports and international competition. At the height of the Cold War, ending the Soviet domination on the chess scene was an international event loaded with deep political and cultural significance of historic proportions. The triumph for the United States was immense; the loss for the Soviet Union was humiliating. Fischer was greeted as a national hero in America.

For many years since, Fischer has been deeply troubled and isolated in his life. He abruptly ended his chess career at the height of his capabilities in 1972, thereby leaving behind the core of his very being. For twenty years he did not play a single official game of chess, despite persistent attempts by chess enthusiasts to get him back to the board. Finally, in 1992, on the 20th anniversary of the 1972 match, the world managed to lure Fischer back to play. The 20th anniversary match between Fischer and Spassky was held in the former state of Yugoslavia in 1992, a setting in which United Nations sanctions had been imposed. Defiantly, Fischer decided to play. In the aftermath he was indicted and an arrest warrant was issued in the United States. He now may face a $250,000 fine, ten years in prison, or both. In this whole drama, however, not a single person involved in the 1992 Fischer-Spassky Match has been indicted or even criticized for their participation; no one except Fischer. No other Americans were indicted for their involvement in the organization and arrangement of the match and neither Boris Spassky, Lothar Schmid nor others involved were faced with any reproachment for their participation.

For 12 years now Fischer has been exiled from his home, away from family and friends. This time has clearly put even greater pressure on his mental health. The Icelandic Chess Federation is, of course, aware of the obscene anti-Semitic and anti-American remarks that Bobby Fischer has made over the last years on different occasions. The federation is appalled by these remarks, as any civilised body would be, and sees them as signs of a deranged and devastated psyche. In 1992 in Yugoslavia, however, Bobby Fischer's only crime was to play chess again, after years of isolation. Twenty years after being hailed as a national hero in his home country, on the 20th anniversary of his legendary US victory in the “Match of the Century”, Bobby Fischer finally returned to chess and earned a US arrest warrant. Through his exile, Fischer's punishment has already been severe. The Icelandic Chess Federation urges the President of the United States to pardon Bobby Fischer and let him go free.


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