“Yalla, yalla” is a rude way of ordering people around like the English term “gofer,” or go for this or go for that. “Yalla, yalla” was one of the first words that the Finnish staff at asylum reception centers learned to use to order refugees to move along.
The conversation between a policeman and Iraqi asylum seeker who was presumably deported Thursday, revealed in crude fashion how the government of Prime Minister Juha Sipilä in general and Interior Minister Paula Risikko in particular pass the buck when it comes to putting people in harm’s way.
Since they don’t want to take any responsibility for the lives and fate of asylum seekers in Finland never mind their home countries, they too use the expression yalla, yalla when talking about immigration and asylum policy.
The asylum seeker on the recording is none other than “MS” who started to act unruly when he boarded a plane that was going to deport him on January 24 from Oulu in northern Finland. The captain said he would not take the asylum seeker on the flight.
After that incident, MS was taken to the Metsälä immigration removal center in Helsinki. The police officer, who sounds friendlier than the Arab-speaking woman interpreter, offers MS “400-500 euros” on his return to Baghdad if he doesn’t create a scene like the last time.
“I’m not leaving,” MS told the police officer who answers:
“Well the situation is that you don’t have any choice [but to leave]. The police must follow these legal orders. We have the possibility to give him [speaking to the interpreter] 400-500 euros if he behaves and cooperates with the police during the trip.”
The asylum seeker was adamant: “I don’t want or need any money but I’m not returning [back to Iraq].”
Fortunately the conversation between the police officer and MS was picked up Thursday by dailies like Helsingin Sanomat, Finland’s largest newspaper.