UPDATED Feb. 20: Asylum seekers that are detained by the police service and face deportation from Finland


We are concerned about the ever-oppressive immigration policy of Finland towards asylum seekers who are undocumented. We believe that the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) and the police service plan to deport many Iraqis and other refugees this year who have two rejections for asylum. 

This job of rounding up and detaining asylum seekers and putting them in immigration removal centers like Metsälä in Helsinki is being carried out by Migri and the police service. It has the blessings of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s government.

“Nasir” was the latest Iraqi to be deported from Finland on Tuesday. See video here.

Since these vulnerable people aren’t supposed to have a name, Migrant Tales started to publish from January 2017 a list of people who are detained, deported or released by the police service. We depend on tip-offs by the public at large to update our list, which can alert different NGOs, human rights activists and the media about the people that Finland plans to deport this year.

If you know of any asylum seeker that was detained by the police service and who is going to be deported, please get in touch with us at migranttalesblog@gmail.com.

لو علمت بان احد طالبي اللجوء في فنلندا يتم احتجازه بغرض الترحيل القسري , الرجاء اعلامنا على migranttalesblog@gmail.com


Stories published by Migrant Tales on the above-mentioned deportation cases:


Day 11 of the Helsinki demonstration by Iraqi asylum seekers: “We will demonstrate for as long as necessary”


Here’s a show of respect and admiration for the Iraqi asylum seekers protesting in cold February in Helsinki against the harsh asylum policies of the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri), which is an extension of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä’s government.

Nour M Jamal is one of the many Iraqis that have taken part in the demonstrations demanding a change in asylum policy and deportations by the police service.

“We feel disappointed with the authorities even if [Interior Minister Paula] Risikko and the head of Migri [Jaana Vuorio] visited us,” he said. “Both of them didn’t say anything new.”

Jamal said that one of the nice things about the demonstration is the support they have received from the Finns.

“People that pass by have shown their support to us giving us money, clothes and even demonstrating with us,” he said. “We are grateful to them and appreciate their support.”

The picture above shows a large number of demonstrators including children and women.

“To those that claim wrongly that we left our women and children behind,” continued Jamal, “we tell them that they can speak to the women who are with us in the tent.”


Migrants are “scum” and should be erased from the map say Geert Wilders, Marine Le Pen and other far-right politicians


Some are asking with manifest unease if this will be the year of the far-right populists like Dutch Geert Wilders, Marine Le Pen of France and Frauke Petry of the German  Alternative für Deutschland (AfD). The first test will  be in Holland on March 15 followed by another nail-biter in France on April 23 and May 7.

Wilders doesn’t hide his hatred for Moroccans by calling them in the video below “scum.”

Emboldened by US President Donald Trump, the far-right in Europe believes that it’s now or never as far as elections are concerned.

But there is a problem: What about if Trump’s chaotic and volatile style of leadership scares voters away in Europe from voting for people like Wilders, Le Pen never mind AfD and possibly in 2018 for Italy’s Beppe Grillo’s Five Star Movement?

One may rightly ask how is it possible that an Islamophobic politician like Wilders is the favorite to win in March after being sentenced in December for hate speech? How can he be accused of calling Moroccan migrants “scum” and still be popular with the voters?


Interior Minister Paula Risikko compares asylum seekers demanding justice to bigots


Green Party Chairman Ville Niinistö correctly criticized Interior Minister Paula Risikko Saturday for stating that Iraqis concerned about being deported to their country as “extremists” that are in the same league as racist bigot groups like Suomi Ensi

The conservative National Coalition Party interior minister’s rhetoric derives from President Sauli Niinistö’s claim in May of last year that only extremists debate while the silent majority is silent.

Such a simplistic analysis by the president is how disgraced former US President Richard Nixon wanted to capitalize on a song called Okie from Muskogee that was supposed to depict, among other things, that most USAmericans weren’t against the Vietnam War and didn’t take drugs.

President Niinistö’s comments and views about Finland’s ever-growing culturally diverse society have revealed his suspicion. Certainly eyeing reelection in 2018, the Finnish head of state has made statements in the same way as anti-immigration politicians do. He first makes them and then retracts.

Here’s a good example:

“At some point, someone has to recognize that, here and now, we cannot fulfill all of our obligations under international agreements,” according to the Helsinki Times.

And then retracted in Helsingin Sanomat:

“I never said anything like that [ditching international agreements]. What I said was that it’s difficult here and now to meet all the obligations [of such refugee treaties].

Tweets Green Party head Niinistö about Risikko putting asylum seekers in the same group like bigots:

He states: “Unacceptable that Risikko equates an asylum seeker family that is worried about its life as extremists like Suomi Ensin.”


Johan Bäckman and Jussi Halla-aho: Two public figures that are hated differently by the Finnish media


Below are two public figures that are treated differently by the Finnish media. Both are way off in their views. The one on the left is Johan Bäckman, who gets scorned by the national media for his pro-Russian and pro-Putin stances, while Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MEP Jussi Halla-aho, gets a more benign reception despite the fact that he’s Finland’s number one public racist. 

Contrary to Bäckman, Halla-aho, who was sentenced for ethnic agitation in 2012, Helsingin Sanomat saw his racist diatribe before 2011 as a strange expression of “freedom of expression.”

There is nothing wrong with protecting freedom of expression but there is a problem when journalists cannot distinguish between an important human right and racism.

Halla-aho, who like other far-right European politicians are pro-Russia, gets a much better reception from the media despite his extremist views of immigration and Muslims.

You can listen to Johan Bäckman’s interview in RT here and read (in Finnish) Jussi Halla-aho’s story in MTV here.

Why is Bäckman shunned by the Finnish media while Halla-aho has some acceptance, even tacit understanding?


MigriLeaks: Risikko ja kuusi vaihtoehtoista totuutta


Keskiviikkona Suomen maahanmuuttotilanteesta vastaava sisäministeri Paula Risikko (kok.) kävi tapaamassa mieltään osoittavia turvapaikanhakijoita Helsingin keskustassa. Hän piti turvapaikanhakijoille pienen puheen, jossa hän valehteli heille päin naamaa. Tämä ei myöskään ole ainoa kerta, kun Risikko on valehdellut Suomen maahanmuuttopolitiikasta. Tässä kuusi Risikon esittämää vaihtoehtoista totuutta, tai selväksi suomeksi, valhetta.

Sisäministeri Paula Risikko

Valhe 1. ”Jokainen turvapaikkapäätös
käsitellään yksilöllisesti.”

Näinhän sen pitäisi mennä. Vertailemalla Maahanmuuttoviraston tehtailemia turvapaikkapäätöksiä käy kuitenkin selväksi, että näin ei ole. Päätöksissä on nimittäin usein jopa useita kappaleita tekstiä, jotka ovat identtiset muiden samasta maasta tulleiden turvapaikanhakijoiden päätösten kanssa. Erityisen räikeästi tämä henkilökohtaisuuden puute tulee esiin seuraavassa esimerkissä. Useissa päätöksissä käsitellään Bagdadin turvallisuutta. Eräässä bagdadilaisen ihmisen päätöksessä puhutaan erityisesti Anbarin läänistä Bagdadiin tulleista maan sisäisistä pakolaisista ja näitä kohtaavista haasteista. Kuitenkin kyseisen päätöksen asianomistaja on itse kotoisin Bagdadista, ei Anbarin läänistä. Toisin sanoen Anbarin läänistä tulleiden sisäisten pakolaisten turvallisuus ei liity hakijan omaan tapaukseen millään tavalla. Sama Anbarin läänistä tulleiden sisäisten pakolaisten tilannetta koskeva kappale esiintyy samanlaisena useissa päätöksissä. Tämä ei kuulosta erityisen henkilökohtaiselta, erityisesti kun se ei liity hakijaan tai tämän tapaukseen millään lailla.


Valhe 2. ”Jokainen [turvapaikka]hakemus käsitellään kuitenkin — laadukkaasti.”

Turvapaikanhakijoilta vietiin syksyllä 2016 oikeus saada avustaja turvapaikkapuhutteluun [1]. Suomen Asianajajaliitto arvelee tämän vaikuttaneen niin, että turvapaikkapäätöksistä tulee enemmän valituksia [2]. Muutos on siis vaikuttanut paitsi turvapaikanhakijoiden oikeusturvaan, myös turvapaikkaprosessiin laatuun. Myös oikeuskansleri totesi tarkastuskäynnillään marraskuussa, että maahanmuuttoviraston toiminnassa on laatuongelmia [3]. Lisäksi sekä kirkolliset että seksuaalivähemmistöjä edustavat järjestöt ovat olleet huolissaan turvapaikkapäätösten laadusta [4]. Maahanmuuttovirasto on rauhoitellut tätä sanomalla, että Seta on käynyt kouluttamassa heidän henkilökuntaansa [5]. Seta kuitenkin huomauttaa, että se ei ole useaan vuoteen kouluttanut Maahanmuuttoviraston henkilökuntaa [6]. Maahanmuuttovirasto siis johtaa harhaan puhuessaan päätöstensä laadukkuudesta.

Valhe 3. ”Meillä katsotaan jo siinä hakuvaiheessa, että onko maa sellainen, mihin voi palata.”

Nyt puhutaan Irakista. Viime toukokuussa Maahanmuuttovirasto julisti Irakin turvalliseksi maaksi [7]. Maahanmuuttoviraston ylijohtaja Jaana Vuorio on kuitenkin myöntänyt, että linjauksessa ei ensisijaisesti ollut kyse Irakin turvallisuuden paranemisesta, vaan halusta saattaa Suomen turvapaikkalinja Ruotsin tasolle [8]. Kyse ei siis oikeastaan ollut siitä, että maa olisi sellainen, “mihin voi palata”. Syyskuussa Ruotsi totesikin Irakin turvallisuustilanteen heikentyneen [9] ja tähdensi, että ainoastaan Irakin Kurdistania voidaan pitää vakaana [10]. Suomi myötäili, mutta turvapaikkapolitiikkaan se ei vaikuttanut [11]. Suomi palauttaa tälläkin hetkellä ihmisiä esimerkiksi Bagdadiin. Ruotsi sen sijaan ei edes lennä Irakiin turvallisuussyihin vedoten [12]. Muiden maiden ohella myös Suomen Ulkoasianministeriö suosittaa välttämään kaikkea matkustamista Irakiin taisteluiden ja väkivaltaisuuksien vuoksi [13]. Irak ei ole turvallinen maa.


The demonstration against deportation and tough asylum policies must continue


Over a hundred people have joined a peaceful demonstration that began a week ago on Friday and which shows no sign of letting up was moved from near the Little Parliament to the Helsinki Railway Square. 

Despite a far-right group called Suomi Ensin (Finland First), which has tried to insult and ruin the demonstration with their presence, everything has been going well, according to Tiia Nohynek, who is taking part in the demonstration and said that there were about 100 people in the early evening.

“The atmosphere is really warm and Finns that pass by have shown their support by offering blankets and battery chargers,” she said. “The [far right] Suomi Ensi people are pretty faraway [about 500 meters] from us now. They have tried to disrupt our demonstration today but the police has stopped them.”


يجب أن تستمر المظاهرات ضد الترحيل القسري و تشديد سياسات اللجوء


التظاهره التي بدأت يوم الجمعه الماضي , لم تظهر اي علامه على التراجع انتقلت من قرب البرلمان الى إلى ساحة للسكك الحديدية في هلسنكي.

وعلى الرغم من جماعة يمينية متطرفة تدعى SuomiEnsin (فنلندا اولا)، الذين حاولوا إهانة وتخريب المظاهرة ،كان كل شيء تم على ما يرام، وفقا لما قالته Tiia Nohynek، التي شاركت في المظاهرة، وقالت أن هناك نحو 100 شخص في وقت مبكر من المساء.

واضافت ان “الجو دافي حقا والفنلنديين الذين يمرون أظهروا تأييدهم من خلال تقديم البطانيات وأجهزة شحن البطاريات”، قالت. “إن [اليمين المتطرف] بعيدون عنا [حوالي 500 متر]. لقد حاولوا عرقلة مظاهرة اليوم ولكن الشرطة ابعدتهم”.


More pictures: Say no to deportations! Say no to the Finnish Immigration Service! Say no to the government’s harsh migration policy!


Photos by Ignacio Pérez Pérez

Migrant Tales’ insight: One of our contributors, Ignacio Pérez Pérez has a sharp and artistic eye for photography. He took these pictures below of the demonstration against forced deportations that started in downtown Helsinki a week ago on Friday. 

Thank you Ignacio for documenting our struggle for social justice and against the harsh policies of the government and Finnish Immigration Service.

We will prevail in the end because we have nothing to lose.