Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Fischer gets Iceland passport

"[World News]: Paris, Feb 23 : Iceland will grant former American chess champion Bobby Fischer, who is being held in Japan, a special passport that will allow him to travel to Western Europe, Xinhua reports.

Immigration authorities agreed to grant the passport, meant for foreigners, to the former champion who is sought in the US on charges of violating international sanctions against the former Yugoslavia by playing there in 1992.

Lawmakers in Iceland had last week rejected the 61-year-old Fischer's citizenship application, prompting his supporters to apply on his behalf for the special passport.

The document will allow him to travel freely between the 15 West European countries of the passport-free Schengen zone but not to the US, said Gudrun Ogmundsdottir, a member of Iceland's parliament general committee.

Ogmundsdottir said in Reykjavik, the Iceland capital, that Fischer's passport was being processed and would be sent to him in Japan where he was arrested six months ago for trying to board a plane to the Philippines with an invalid US passport.

She hoped the document would allow Japanese authorities to release Fischer. Tokyo wants to deport him to the US."

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