By Enrique Tessieri
Thirty-four percent of convicted rape crimes committed during 2006-09 in Finland were by foreigners, according to Tampere-based Aamulehti. What is surprising, however, is that Aamulehti chose not to mention 2010 and 2011 suspected rape crimes, which totaled 141 (27.5% of all rape cases) and 109 (26%) in 2010 and 2011, respectively, according to Hannu Niemi of the Justice Ministry.
There are a lot of holes and question marks about Toni Viljanmaa’s story. One of these is if it is a story at all. Or if the story should be that rape convictions have gone down sharply from 2006-09. There were a total of 261 convictions for rape during this three-year period.
If Viljanmaa claims that there were 34% convicted rapes during the period under review, he forgets to tell us that the actual number is 24% for all types of rapes. If there were 141 and 109 suspected cases in 2010 and 2011 this suggests that convictions would be far less than the 34% claimed by Aamulehti.
Another big hole in Viljanmaa’s story is what types of “foreigners” is he referring to? The statistics he cites include permanent residents as well as tourists, according to Niemi.
Niemi told Migrant Tales that he had no idea why the Tampere daily published the news, which was picked up by Iltalehti. “You’d have to ask the paper [their motives for publishing these statistics],” he said. “This is public information. If a journalist asks us these types of statistics we are obliged to give it to him.”
While we are not playing down a crime like rape, what we should be asking is what does a story like this do to invite open and honest debate about a serious problem in our society and, most importantly, how to address it?
Apart from labeling and giving ammunition to anti-immigration groups to continue their victimization of certain immigrant groups, we should not forget another important legal point: A person is innocent until proven guilty.
On top of these distortions and editorializing by the reporter, he on top of this interviews an Iraqi resident and asks what he thinks about the situation.
This story is a good example of shoddy and lazy journalism.