Why migrants and minorities in Finland continue to suffer from discrimination and social inequality

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Entitlement and denial are some of the reasons why respect for cultural diversity and treating Others in Finnish society as equals faulters. There is too much lip service like “we’re against racism” but few deeds to give such a powerful statement life and meaning. 

Entitlement reinforces denial. It permits the majority to have its racist cake and eat it.

There’s no way that we’ll have too many listeners to our anti-racism cause as long as entitlement and denial play a central role in how the majority views and treats minorities.

It’s pretty simple: How can I, a member of the minority, tell the majority, which has entitlement and power, that it should give up its privileges so I could be treated and compete on the same level as he or she? How can I convince public officials and politicians to put into action those “we’re against racism” catchphrases?

Worse yet is that we have members of our culturally diverse community that are mouthpieces of the majority or mamu-setäs (Finnish Uncle Toms).

If we look at countries like the United States, the Civil Rights Movement (1955-68) and its most illustrious leaders like Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. show us that the only way you are going to change things is through a social movement.

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Perussuomalaiset speaker of parliament Maria Lohela is a disingenuous Islamophobe

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I couldn’t believe what Perussuomalaiset (PS)* speaker of parliament, Maria Lohela, said in a speech today at a flag-raising ceremony in Helsinki commemorating independence day. Apart from being an MP, Lohela is an Islamophobe with a proven track record against gay and migrant rights.

She is one of the thirteen persons that signed the Nuiva manifesto in 2010. Some of the signatories of the manifesto include three PS politicians (MEP Jussi Halla-aho, former MP James Hirvisaari and Kotka city councilman Freddy van Wonterghem) who were sentenced for ethnic agitation as well as others who have made their political careers by attacking migrants. Some of these are MP Juho Eerola, MP Olli Immonen, Riikka Slunga-Poutsalo, PS party secretary, and seven others.

Finland suffers from amnesia, especially the Finnish Broadcast Company (YLE),  and Lohela of two-faced dishonesty.

 

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Maria Lohela is not my speaker of parliament.

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Police superintendent of Finland: No need for repatriation agreement with Iraq, we can deport asylum seekers if we wish

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“We have always returned people there, and we seek to continue to do so. There is a false notion, if you could call it that, that a repatriation agreement must be signed before the police can carry out a forced return, but it is not true,” National Police Board Chief Superintendent Mia Poutanen, is quoted as saying in YLE News.

This statement by Chief Superintendent Poutanen has a lot of Iraqi asylum seekers worried. It is then possible to force Iraqi asylum seekers who got a negative decision from the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) to go back to their country? 

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Read the full story here.

One asylum seeker that Migrant Tales contacted expressed shock but knew that Iraqi asylum seekers are deported back to Iraq against their will.

The whole process, which appears to be full of legal contradictions and question marks, is the result of a law that did away with residence permits on humanitarian grounds.

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UPDATE: Minor asylum seeker at the Villa Meri reception center sent to hospital after getting pepper-sprayed by security guard

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UPDATE (3:52pm): According to one security guard contacted by Migrant Tales, pepper spray can only be used on a person if the security guard is assaulted physically. Pepper spray is used only for defensive purposes. 

The source at Villa Meri claims that the minor who was pepper-sprayed did not attack the security guard physically. “He didn’t put a hand on him,” said the source. 

If pepper spray is used, the security guard must inform the police and remain next to the victim if he or she needs help. A report is written with one going to the police, the security company, and to the client, which would be in this case Hoitopalvelu Metsätähti. 

It’ll be interesting to see what happens in this case and if the asylum seeker didn’t attack the security guard. 

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We continue to get worrisome news from the Villa Meri asylum reception center of Rauma. An asylum seeker at the center, who is a minor, was peppered sprayed on Friday and taken to the hospital. Why? Because he protested that his sister, who came from Helsinki to visit him, had to leave the center.

The Villa Meri reception center, which is located 91km north of Turku, is managed by a private company called Hoitopalvelu Metsätähti, which is a subsidiary of Helsinki-based health care and social services company Mehiläinen.

“The problem was that the [young] asylum seeker didn’t want his sister to be kicked out of the camp since there were no buses to Helsinki and because she had no place to stay,” an asylum seeker at Villa Meri told Migrant Tales by phone. “After the security guard sprayed him with pepper spray, the police came and he was taken to the hospital. He came back to Villa Meri the next day.”

The minor’s sister is believed to have slept at the bus station since she had too little money to go to a hotel.

The minor had tried to speak with the manager of the camp, Päivi Nikkola, for quite a while, according to the asylum seeker.

“She always tells him that she doesn’t have any time to talk to him,” the person said.

Are the stricter rules at Villa Meri due to the suspected rape case of an adolescent that took place in October or just arbitrary bullying by the staff?

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The minor who was pepper-sprayed was taken to the hospital for treatment. He returned to the camp the following day.

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Över 850 Irakiska asylsökande demonstrerar emot Immigratioinsverket omännskliga beslut

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Maj 2016 beslöt finska immigrationsverket att Irak är ett tryggt land, vilket för många att fundera – Hur kunde man ta ett sådant beslut?  Irak är på tredje plats i världens för farligaste länder, hur kan då immigrationsverket säga att det är ett säkert land?

Det har varit många andra demonstrationer  – Men dagens demonstration var någonting helt annat. Bra planerad och personer även från Sverige har kommit för att delta i demonstrationen. Personer som är bosatta i andra länder som Tyskland såg på demonstrationen via live sändningen på Facebook. Vem är hjärnorna bakom demonstrationen?

Nio irakiska män i samarbete med Oikeus elää, Suomen turvapaikkapolitiikka organisationen som stödde dem med att låna ut tält, mikrofoner, megafoner och högtalare med allt annat ordnade de nio irakiska män som har fått sitt negativa beslut från immigrations verket.

Demonstrationen tog plats kl 14.30 från startpunkten vid tre smeds statyerna på Alexandersgatan mot Helsingfors domkyrka och Salutorget.

Demonstrationen bestod av kvinnor, barn och män i olika åldrar som tagit sig till Helsingfors från olika städer i Finland och alla har betalat för sin egen resa för att kunna delta i denna demonstrationer eftersom denna demonstration är en av de sista avgörande efter beslutet som Sverige gav ut om att de har fast ställt att Irak inte är ett säkert land och att de tänker ge asyl och uppehållstillstånd till alla de Irakiska asylsökande. Men Finland vill inte ta samma beslut fast det gjorde dom då i våras då Sverige sa då att Irak är ett säkert land och att de inte har rätt till asyl.

Längst fram på demonstrationen var det barnfamiljer. Dessa familjer kommer från anläggningar som är utanför Helsingfors bara för att visa att de verkligen inte är nöjda med beslutet som. Dessa personer har en stöd på 92 € i månaden och flyktingmottagningen ville inte hjälpa dem med att hyra bussar eller beställa bussbiljetter. Därför så tog dom själv och kontakta bussbolaget och beställde bussarna själv. Det kom över 10 bussar från orter och städer som är utanför Helsingfors. Medan de andra har tagit sig hit med tåg och andra transportmedel.

Flyktinganläggningarna hade fått order om att inte hjälpa dessa flyktingar att komma fram till demonstrations platsen och de försökte hindra dem på alla vis och många anläggningar slapp inte eftersom de inte hade pengar och hur de än bad dem om att dra bort det från nästa stöd så sa dom nej att de inte kan.

Längst fram på demonstrationen fanns det barn som var inpackade i vinterkläder men tro mig den kalla vinden skär genom dessa kläder.

För mig att se dessa barn frysa och vara rädda att de blir åter skickade till Irak får mig att bli jätte besviken på Finland att de har gått så lågt och glömt mänskligheten och sympatin.

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Varför skall det irakiska barnet lida? Och  nu pratar jag endast om Irakiska barn så att inte börjar tänka – finns andra barn som lider.

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Asylum Corner: Mental health support to asylum seekers: what kind of support is most needed?

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Imagine the (now nearly emptied) Calais “jungle” and mental healthcare services in one single sentence: your reaction would probably sound like “you wouldn’t know where to start”, for you are just a single person and Sisyphus was never your favourite character in epic poetry. But someone might decide to try, in spite of the hopelessness of the situation, and create a group who could at least provide some mental healthcare assistance to those who most need it. The Refugee Resilience Collective (RRC) was born on these assumptions.

na%cc%88ytto%cc%88kuva-2016-12-3-kello-8-12-26Read the full story here.

The reality is, the RRC is just one of the countless volunteer groups and organizations that felt the urge to make the Calais “jungle” a little less of an inhumane place. Leaning on the makeshift medical system created by Médecins sans Fontières and Médecins du Monde at the Calais camp, the London-based collective (composed of 9 clinical psychologists and systemic psychotherapists) has been commuting from the British capital every Friday since last April to conduct group therapy with young asylum seekers, women and volunteers working at the Calais camp.

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Melkein itsestäänselvä sananvapaus

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Kansainvälisen Toimittajat Ilman rajojen mielestä Suomi on ollut jo monen vuoden peräkkäin maailman paras maa sananvapaudessa. Tammikuun alussa toimittaja Jan Lundius kirjoitti uutistietotoimiston IPS: n verkkosivulla artikkelin, jonka otsikko oli: ”Jopa Suomen täytyy pitää huolta lehdistövapaudestaan”.

Espanjankielisessä artikkelissa Lundius käy läpi Suomen sananvapauden historiaa Ruotsin vallan ajoista lähtien nykypäivään. Lundiuksen mielestä yksi tumma pilvi suomalaisten tiedotusvälineiden sananvapaudessa on se huomio, joka avoimesti rasistiset tahot ovat saaneet tiedostusvälineiltä. Myös se, että vallankahvassa olevan puolueen, ja Lundius mainitsee perussuomalaisia, suhtautuvat voimakkaasti kielteisesti tiedotusvälineiden kritiikkeihin.

Nyt on käynyt ilmi, että valitettavasti myös pääministerillä on sukset ristissä muun muassa Yleisradion kanssa.

Toimittaja Ruben Stiller kertoi avoimesti Helsingin Sanomille kuinka hänen pomonsa on painostanut häntä vaikenemaan pääministerin ja Terrafemin asiasta. Tämä tapauksen käsittely on jatkunut ja se on hyvä asia. Tapaus kertoo sitä mitä me, jotka olemme kauan seuranneet politiikkaa tiedämme. Olemmehan aiemmin tällä hallituskaudella lukeneet hallituspuolueiden ja varsinkin perussuomalaisten moitteet tiedotusvälineitä kohtaan, kun media käsittelee heidän asioita muulla tavoin kuin nämä poliitikot olisivat tahtoneet. Aika ajoin poliitikot kiukuttelevat medioille ja toimittajille.

”Yleisradion painostaminen ei ole mitään uutta, sanoo Ylen politiikan toimituksen entinen päällikkö Pekka Ervasti. Hänen mukaansa tilanne on kärjistynyt varsinaisesti kahden viime vuoden aikana. “Juttuja on hyllytetty ja sensuroitu ja toimittajille on annettu varoituksia erityisesti tämän hallituksen aikana.””

Yleisradion toimintaa on myös yritetty muuttaa esimerkiksi monikulttuurisuuden käsittelyssä. Tämän vuoden toukokuussa perussuomalainen kansanedustaja Teuvo Hakkarainen ilmaisi puolueensa kantaa, monikulttuurisuus –sanasta poistamisesta . Neuvotteluissa kävi kuitenkin niin, että sanamuoto vain vaihdettiin. ”Ylen tehtävänä on tukea suomalaisen kulttuuriperinnön vaalimista, suvaitsevaisuutta, yhdenvertaisuutta, tasa-arvoa ja kulttuurista moninaisuutta.”

Sananvapauden kannalta ongelmallisinta on kuinka yleisradion rahoitusta on yritetty muuttaa poliittisten intressien mukaisesti. Esimerkiksi ruotsinkielisten ohjelmien lähetystä halutaan vähentää, eikä se suinkaan tarkoittaisi siitä, että muiden vähemmistöjen ohjelmia lisätäisiin. Siitä ei edes puhuta, koska ”monikulttuurisuus on paha”.

Artikkelin lopussa Jan Lundius sanoo, että pohjoismaalaiset ihmiset pitävät sananvapautta itsestäänselvyytenä ja uhkia poissuljetaan. Tämän päivän keskustelu sananvapaudesta herättää meitä toisenlaiseen tilanteeseen.

Lähteet:
http://www.ipsnoticias.net/2016/01/incluso-finlandia-tiene-que-cuidar-su-libertad-de-prensa/
http://www.hs.fi/politiikka/art-2000004888997.html?utm_medium=social&amp%3Butm_content=www.hs.fi&amp%3Bshare=e2414fbcf1875720c45696dc69f3b436&utm_source=facebook&utm_campaign=facebook-share
http://www.maaseuduntulevaisuus.fi/politiikka/pekka-ervasti-ylen-johto-on-taipunut-sipil%C3%A4n-hallituksen-painostukseen-1.170693

Migrant Tales begins cooperation with Asylum Corner

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Migrant Tales will begin cooperation by beginning to publish stories by Asylum Corner,  the newsletter of Lai-Momo, an Italian cooperative society based in Bologna, Italy, and Brussels. Like Migrant Tales, Asylum Corner writes about topics like migrants’ integration, asylum seekers assistance, intercultural and anti-discrimination education.

Lai-Momo information and communication officer Claudia Mará took a moment to explain what kind of work Lai-Momo does.

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Visit Asylum Corner here.

“Asylum Corner  is a project that I started with some other colleagues in Africa e Mediterraneo/Lai-momo  because we thought we could leverage the double expertise of our organizations in social communication and social work with refugees,” she said. “It’s not that common to find associations in the social sector that can work with both.”

Marà said that Asylum Corner was not only started to help refugees directly but those social workers working with them. She said that another aim of the publication is to cover a topic like refugees more fairly and comprehensively than the European media.

“If only citizens in every EU member state could get a first-hand experience of what it means to work with asylum seekers, or at least as we try to do with AC,” she said, “read about positive practices in the reception of asylum seekers and migrants, EU public opinion would probably be a bit softer on the migration issue.”