Kempele, Finland, suspected rape case: Is the social media lynching party over?


If you read stories Tuesday about a fourteen-year-old girl who was raped in Kempele by two  suspects aged 15 and 17 years, who are Afghani asylum seekers, today’s news offers a totally different twist, reports YLE News.

According to a police statement, one of the suspects has been released from police custody because he didn’t have anything to do with the alleged crime.

The 17-year-old being held by the police denies that he had raped the victim.

The police stated that comments made especially in social media “have been brisk and mostly inappropriate” and that “people cannot write whatever they wish in social media.”

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Read full story here.


Every suspected rape in Finland brings out the bigot from within


Every suspected rape committed by a foreigner is a threat to the migrant and visible minority community because it gives a boost to bigots and racists in Finland. It is also a perfect example of how a social media lynching takes place in Finland and how it boosts parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, which base their popularity on anti-cultural diversity rhetoric.  

Both the suspects and victim of the latest case are minors. Even so, the media and Finland’s Prime Minister Juha Sipilä haven’t wasted any time in pointing the finger at the suspected asylum seekers, aged 15 and 17 years.

And there’s an important reason why Sipilä reacted so quickly: He offered in September his home in Kemeple to asylum seekers.

There are more questions than answers that surround the latest rape case. For one, how did MTV3 television channel get information that the suspects are asylum seekers and from a country like Afghanistan? Did the police leak the information to the media?

Moreover, as Finland appears on the war path against these minors, I always thought that people are innocent until proven guilty in this country.

Just like with the Tapanila rape case, the national media and social media have already sentenced the suspects before their trial begins.


Reija Härkönen: Poliitikot rasistikansan asialla


Reija Härkönen

Tänään oli sitten sellainen uutispäivä, että tiesi, mitä on odotettavissa, kun kurkistaa tietynlaisten kansanedustajien Facebook-sivuille. Kalevassa julkaistiin uutinen epäillystä raiskauksesta aamulla klo 10. Tämä on tilanne iltapäivällä klo 13. Kansanedustajilla on toiveita siitä, että turvapaikanhakijat ovat syyllistyneet rikokseen.

Raiskaus Eerola
Kansanedustaja Eerolan olisi suotavaa antaa tarkempi erittely tietämistään prosentuaalisista osuuksista.


A cartoon by Ville Ranta that exposes the real face of anti-immigration groups and parties


The cartoon below, “After the attack,” shows a member of an anti-immigration group drinking the blood of a victim of the Paris terrorist attack on Friday the 13th of November

In my opinion, the cartoon below by Ville Ranta shows to a tee how members of anti-immigration groups and parties reacted to the Paris terrorist attacks.

What’s your opinion?

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The first group that was present after the terrorist attacks of Paris were members of anti-immigration groups.

Migrants’ Rights Network: Lessons of Paris – Borders won’t protect us: Solidarity with refugees remains the best hope


Don Flynn*

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The Friday 13th attacks in Paris are being interpreted by many commentators as politicians as a watershed moment in public attitudes towards refugee policies in Europe.

But as recently as August and September this year hundreds and thousands of European citizens took a remarkable stand of declaring a welcome for refugees coming from the war-torn Eastern Mediterranean and North Africa.


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Read full opinion piece here.


Attempts have been made to argue that this support has vanished in the wake of the terrorist attacks on people enjoying Friday night at music concerts and restaurants in the otherwise peaceful city of Paris.  One example of this effort to declare an end to the moods which proclaimed support for the right of refugees to find a safe haven in Europe came in the form of an article in the London Evening Standard on 18 November. Prominent Conservative MP David Davis declared the need for an outright end to the freedom of movement in Europe which has been made possible by the Schengen Agreement.

Davis wrote: “… it is becoming evident that controlling Europe’s external borders, especially the porous borders of southern Europe, is virtually impossible. There are too many physical, legal, political and moral problems inherent in policing that vast frontier effectively.”

He appears to applaud the decisions of the Austrian, French, Dutch and Swedish governments to reintroduce border checks, and even the actions of the Hungarian and Slovak authorities in reinforcing these with kilometres of fencing and razor wire.  Perhaps he believes that these actions will solve the “physical, legal, political and moral problems” that get in the way of managing the flow of people across the southern frontiers of the EU.

The proffered solution is a return to a Europe in which national states are responsible for admitting or refusing people entry into their territories and then dealing with the consequences.  But, strangely enough, for the countries at the EU’s southern and eastern frontiers, that is exactly the system that has always operated.  Greece operates primarily within a framework of Greek immigration policies when it comes to deciding who is permitted to cross its borders; as does Italy; France; Spain; and both Cyprus and Malta.

The claim that we are in today’s predicament because of the overbearing effects of bureaucratically-imposed European policies is clearly fallacious.  We are where we are because Europe, acting in concert with other powers in the Eastern Mediterranean, has failed over the course of many years to overcome the crisis which spreads in a great arc from Turkey and across the North African Maghreb, with a tributary branch feeding in from the Horn of Africa. This failure has been allowed to create a great confluence of refugee movements that brings people to its own doorstep.

Declaring a formal end to the Schengen Agreement and reintroducing controls at all the internal borders of the EU will not deal with the situations which led to 218,000 refugees entering Europe in October alone.  The driving forces behind these movements, as a recent commentary paper by the European Policy Centre points out, are the continuing upheaval in countries which have put 4.3 million Syrians, 2.6 million Afghans, 1 million Somalis and 600,000 Sudanese onto the road as refugees during the past few years.

‘Fortress Europe’ was never going to hold back the volume of people pressing against its gates indefinitely.  The radical measures taken to impoverish the Greek state through austerity might have been the tipping point from struggling efforts to manage to outright crisis but the genie is now out the bottle and won’t easily be persuaded to go back in.

The anti-free movement lobby hopes that if one border can’t do the trick then maybe six, ten or twenty will succeed in holding back the refugee masses in someplace far away.  Mr Davis rejoices in the fact that the UK is an island and the convenience of having a surrounding sea ought to buy the country a bit more scope for keeping the refugees out.

It is difficult to be happy with this as a solution to the business of managing refugee movements in the 21st century.  The hope that all our neighbours will do the heavy lifting whilst we sit back to reap the benefits will not endear us European countries that want to see more solidarity as they face up to the challenges of processing the claims of those who seek a safe haven.

The attacks in Paris were agonisingly brutal for those who caught up in them.  If it is possible for such an appalling situation to be made worse by any subsequent action it has come from the renewed clamour to roll back on refugee and migrant rights.  Advocating this response looks too much like the very outcome that fanatics of Daesh have sought to engineer.

The security of ordinary people across Europe will not be enhanced by any measure that reduces the commitment of this region to human rights and the rights of refugees.  The re-imposition of border checks on the myriad frontiers of the European states will check, for a time, the flow of desperate people. It will cause more hardship and suffering on top of what they have already had to endure.  And it will be a step away from the countries of this region addressing the real root causes of the refugee crisis and will postpone the day when tens of thousands no longer feel that they have to embark on dangerous journeys to get to these shores.

Read original posting here.

This piece was reprinted by Migrant Tales with permission.

*Don Flynn, the MRN Director, leads the organisation’s strategic development and coordinates MRN’s policy and project work. He is a regular and sought-after speaker at conferences, seminars and lectures on behalf of MRN.

UPDATE: An asylum reception center map we should all be ashamed of in Finland


As long as we have politicians and other community leaders who support hate speech overtly or with their silence, and as long as parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* base their support on racism against people who are different from them, Finland will not be a safe country for everyone. 

The map below is shameful considering that we’re one of the most affluent and apparently safest countries in the world.

Politicians, the media and the public are ignorant of the sheer hardships and destruction that the war, which we’ve been accomplices in, have brought on the people of the Middle East and Africa. We’re only outsiders looking in and what our eyes reveal is enough for some of us to turn our backs.

But what about if I told you about the horrors of war and gave you a ringside view of the raw violence and utter despair of people who are commonly blown to shreds by bombs and hate? Would you want to know? Would what you’d see change your life forever?

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Municipalities where asylum reception centers have been attacked and where there have been problems. Source: Yle.

There are probably more attacks against asylum reception centers in Finland than the YLE map above suggests. Migrant Tales wrote in early November a suspected arson attack against the Pitäjänmäki reception center that was not reported by the media.


Susheela Daniel: On being a multicultural Finn


I got to know Susheela Daniel through many of her insightful Facebook postings. She was one of the brave women who protested in front of parliament against the election of Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party MP Maria Lohela as speaker of parliament. One of her latest Facebook posts was on “integrated migrants” raised some good questions about Uncle Toms in the migrant and minority community.

An Uncle Tom, or Tuomo-setä or setä Tuomo in Finnish, is a term used in the United States for people who betray their race in order to get privileges. Urban Dictionary defines it in the following way: “A black man who will do anything to stay in good standing with ‘the white man’ including betray his own people.”

Susheela Daniel. Photo by Fateme Azizi.

In a multiethnic country like the United States, the Uncle Tom label plays an important role. One of the roles it plays is a bit similar to a deserter in times of war.

Taking a look at the violence and hostility that some minorities are facing in the United States, it’s clear that the Uncle Tom label aims to protect a community that is already embattled by racism, social exclusion and scarce opportunities.

How would one define an Uncle Tom in Finland?

Daniel admits that she’s never heard of the term Tuomo-setä in Finnish never mind in English but agrees that the phenomenon exists in Finland.