By Enrique Tessieri
Rainer Hiltunen, the Minority Ombudsman’s head of office, said that he receives calls from foreigners who say they have been repeatedly questioned in the street by police. Some of those stopped are naturalized Finns and visible minorities.
The police deny any wrongdoing.
“If a person is stopped, they’re told why,” said Helsinki police inspector Jari Taponen, who denied hearing of any cases where people were not told why they were questioned by the police.
Helena Eronen, Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP James Hirvisaari’s new aide, suggested in a column today that a good way to help the police to distinguish immigrants from Finns would be to oblige people to wear sleeve badges.
This kind of “satire” coming especially from a Hirvisaari aide is in pretty bad taste.
Hirvisaari was fined for hate speech in December.
I remember being stopped a long time ago by the Finnish police on the freeway from Porvoo to Helsinki. We were three “foreign-looking” men inside a Skoda driving home when Czechoslovakian President Vaclav Pavel visited Finland in 1991.
One of the questions that surprised me by the policeman when we were pulled over was if I was a Finnish citizen. I refused to answer the policeman’s question because I thought it had nothing to do with whatever I was being stopped.
After a semi-long tug-of-war with the policeman, I told him that I was a Finnish citizen. He then told me that I had been pulled over because one of my headlamps was out.
If that was the reason why he stopped me, what did that have to do with me being a Finnish citizen or not?