A-Studio’s immigrant rape report: A prejudiced storm in a tea cup

by , under Enrique

An A-Studio report on the “high” amount of rape convictions of foreigners in Finland is not only another unfortunate example of arbitrary reporting by the Finnish media, but reinforces the perception of how hate groups in this country use crime statistics against immigrants 

Migrant Tales encountered another similar story about foreign rape cases in April by Aamulehti.  In both cases, it isn’t clear whether the rape cases are committed by tourists or immigrant residents.

What made the A-Studio report especially questionable were the very statistics it used to drive home its point.

In the very same style as hate groups in Finland, the A-Studio report claims that since a quarter of all rape convictions in this country were committed by foreigners, there is “a serious rape problem” in this country.

A while later, however, we learn that we’re talking about 25 rape convictions during the first five months of the year. We are even shown a table by A-Studio of the convictions by nationality. Of the 25 convictions, the biggest group are the Iraqis (7 cases) followed by Afghans (2), Nigerians (2), Swedes (2) and Serbian & Montenegrins (2).

Nina Nurminen, a prison psychologist at the Criminal Sanctions Agency, does not state in any part of the A-Studio interview that we are speaking of a small minority and that it would be wrong to conclude and label foreigners and especially Iraqi men as potential rapists. She does suggest, however, that people who come from war zones may be more inclined to rape.

A medic of the Family Federation, Miila Halonen, adds more fuel to the claims by telling us how Finnish women are “raped” without them knowing it. In other words, an immigrant meets a Finnish white woman, has sex with her and then dumps her. A friend of the immigrant calls the same woman and does the same thing.

Is Halonen implying that this is a form of “rape?” What about one-night stands among white Finns? Is it ok for a white Finn to do this but not acceptable if the person is a foreigner? How many of these types of cases is Halonen speaking of?

Like Nurminen, she too wanders off into generalizations labeling foreign men as preying on innocent women.

On top of her claims, she says that sex education should form part of the immigrants’ integration program.

Do you think that the A-Studio report was fair and offered a well-rounded story on the matter, or was it a prejudiced storm in a tea cup?

 

 

  1. Happy

    You already captured some salient points in your analysis Enrique. I might as well add something.

    Obviously the report will be taken by people or groups who already harbor prejudice against anyone not white or anyone white and foreign. The senior expert they cited in the English version – Lena Bremer from the Finnish Association for Mental Health is the person who makes the most reasonable analysis as I had just that in mind: the figures (however Yle presents them) could be “higher” for foreign rapists because of “people’s greater willingness to report crimes committed by people they do not know”. She further adds that Finnish women may be more inclined to report sex crimes against men they don’t know. I guess “don’t know” would mean foreign.
    It’s a shame though that Yle makes it sound – from the subject line of the report that it is major problem with immigrants in this country. What is this fear all about, and why would the Finnish public broadcaster do such an investigate report in a country where less than 5% of the population is foreign. Rape is bad and I condemn it in the strongest possible terms. However, to define foreigners on the basis of 25 rape cases is just as appalling. Yle you can do better!!!

    • Enrique Tessieri

      Happy, you added some very important points.

      The only thing I can see is an eager journalist trying to score brownie points with the public.

      I called one of the persons that was interviewed, Nina Nurminen, who said that her intention wasn’t to label foreigners as rapists. What do you think?

    • Yossie

      What is the point? Maybe the point is that certain groups are well overpresented when it come to raping. When added to the fact that these same groups reprisent cultures where women are treated very differently, it is all well to ask if they have problem. After all, some of them tend to think its a ok to rape a girl since she already sat on your lap.

      Thought I dont expect people here to admit anything. Its more important to pretend all cultures are same and if there is problems, its finns fault.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –What is the point? Maybe the point is that certain groups are well overpresented when it come to raping.

      Read this very, very carefully: 25 convicted cases allows you or anyone to victimize ALL immigrants or certain groups?
      I don’t think so. What you are seeing aren’t the percentage figures but a strong whiff or prejudice and racism.

      Should we start to label all Finnish men as pedophiles? What about the majority of rape cases by Finns? Shouldn’t we start to look at age groups and in which regions rapes are committed the most and then label Southern Finns or Oulu Finns or whatever.

    • Yossie

      Its not only these 25 cases. Immigrants groups have been over reprisented before too in these cases.

      But fine. Lets ignore it all. Also we can ignore and stop talking about racism or violent racist crimes in Finland as they stigmatize finns!

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –But fine. Lets ignore it all. Also we can ignore and stop talking about racism or violent racist crimes in Finland as they stigmatize finns!

      Yossie, nobody is asking anyone to ignore such a crime. The issue is the inaccurate use of statistics to drive home a prejudice like “all people of groups x are so-and-so.”

    • Yossie

      Lets ask it this way:

      What do you think about the proposed sex education in immigrant integration?

  2. D4R

    When i saw this on news this morning i almost dropped my coffee, i mean this is ubsurd, this news clearly paints a rapist picture about us. This news was totally out of line.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      In my opinion D4R the reporting by A-Studio was shoddy to say the least. It shows how important it is for immigrants to speak out against those who want to spread these types of stereotypes.

      Another interesting point is that actually rape convictions have gone down from the last decade. Why didn’t A-Studio report this? They were interested in the percentages, not the numbers, which were small.

  3. Happy

    Happy, you added some very important points.

    The only thing I can see is an eager journalist trying to score brownie points with the public.

    I called one of the persons that was interviewed, Nina Nurminen, who said that her intention wasn’t to label foreigners as rapists. What do you think?

    OOh she was politely asking you to F-off and leave her alone. As a psychologist, she would know that most people don’t bother about details in a report, they care more for the conclusion. Further, psychologists would tell you that most people use mental shortcuts (heuristics) in making up their minds. Considering that most people already have a perception about what is Finnish (us) and what is not (them), simply stating that we intend to report on immigrants and sex crime in Finland, may be a conclusion for many people especially those who harbor some prejudiced views about immigrants. Did you write to Yle about the rationale for conducting such a study? That is, focusing specifically on immigrants and rape? Why didn’t they look at rape in Finland in general? The only beneficiaries from this report are the extremists, the racists….the report does no service to rape victims.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –Did you write to Yle about the rationale for conducting such a study?

      Happy, I did. The reporter is Tuomas Kerkkänen. I sent him an email with a few lines and a link to the story on Migrant Tales.

      It’s important that when this type of reporting takes place, we respond with an email or a phone call. It’s important because the next time thy open their mouths, they’ll think what they are going to say and the impact of their words.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –What was wrong with the programme?

      The problem is simple: how can you draw any conclusions from 25 cases, or label a whole group as a result.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –I looked up on internet. You have discussed this topic about immigrant rapes earlier this year…

      Quite a lot, I would say.

  4. Marco

    –I looked up on internet. You have discussed this topic about immigrant rapes earlier this year…

    Quite a lot, I would say.

    why are you so interested in rapes?

    • Enrique Tessieri

      I’m not interested in rape per say, but in the statistics that anti-immigration groups use to stigmatize different groups.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –are Yle, Helsingin Sanomat and MTV3 anti-immigration groups?

      They are the media. They are not anti-immigration groups.

  5. Marco

    I think I know what you mean. It is about journalism.

    How to report or not to report at all. Yle said about 5 years ago when there was something wrong that they wanted to keep it silent regarding immigrants not to stir etnic hatred. Then after sometime they broke the silence and decided to report anyhow.

    Tricky this, I do not know how I would have done but anyway I am not a journalist, just a fan of Stephen King.

    • Enrique Tessieri

      –How to report or not to report at all. Yle said about 5 years ago when there was something wrong that they wanted to keep it silent regarding immigrants not to stir etnic hatred. Then after sometime they broke the silence and decided to report anyhow.

      Where did you hear this?

  6. akaaro

    Marco, ´´are Yle, Helsingin Sanomat and MTV3 anti-immigration groups?´´
    They report one sided news that against the immigrants but whent it is Finns they don’t mention anything. for instance this case of rape , is only prejudices towards immigrants. What about Finn men, majority of here, don’t they involve these rape cases?

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