How “safe” is Iraq? Who is safe in Iraq?

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An Isis suicide attack ripped Baghdad Sunday causing the death toll to rise today to 217 dead., according to Al Iraqya TV

It wasn’t a long time ago when the Finnish Immigration Service (FIS) with the ok of the government, which comprises of the anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS),* Center Party and National Coalition Party, stated that Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia are safe countries to return asylum seekers.

These are apparently “safe” countries to return asylum seekers. The foreign ministry advises Finns not to visit these three countries.

So while members of the PS, government, and public officials enjoy their peaceful holidays by a quiet lake, there is a slaughter house not too far away where you can feel the chilling breath of death.

Viewer discretion is advised. The content of the pictures below may be disturbing.

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Migrants’ Rights Network: Brexit and potential human rights implications

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Alan Anstead 

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A small majority of UK voters said that the UK should leave the EU in the referendum on 23 June. UK Race and Europe Network’s Alan Anstead looks at some of the main human rights implications of the UK government invoking article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty and starting the countdown to leaving the EU.

Charter of Fundamental Rights

The EU Charter of Fundamental Rights covers political, social and economic rights: dignity, freedoms, equality, solidarity, citizens’ rights and justice. Although the Charter is consistent with the European Convention on Human Rights, many see it as a more modern codification because includes such rights as data protection, which was not an issue when the European Convention on Human Rights was passed in 1950. On leaving the EU, this would no longer apply to the UK.

European Convention on Human Rights

But we would still have the European Convention on Human Rights you might argue. True, but for how long and in what form? It has been a Conservative Party manifesto promise for many years to replace the Human Rights Act, which makes the European Convention accessible as a UK law, with a British Bill of Rights. A leading contender for the Conservative Party leadership, Theresa May, said in the EU referendum debates that the UK should leave the European Convention. Although very recently she has changed her mind, I’m sure that I am not alone in not trusting what politicians say. So a new PM may well repeal the Human Rights Act and bring in a new Bill of Rights, which may or may not be compatible with the UK’s obligations under the European Convention. One to watch carefully.

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Post-Brexit Europe: There is a connection between scapegoating and hate crime

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Is there a connection between scapegoating migrants, minorities as well as Others and hate crime? If you look at what has happened after the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom it’s clear that there is a connection.

Victimizing and promoting suspicion of migrant and minority groups is one matter but the most worrisome issue that should concern us is indifference.

How low can you stoop? Too many politicians and the media blame migrants, minorities and the EU for the problems they have caused and inflicted.

The late Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor and 1986 Nobel Peace Prize winner who passed away Saturday, pinpoints the problem in the quote: below:

“Action is the only remedy to indifference: the most insidious danger of all.”

Just like with the alarming rise of xenophobia in the United Kingdom after the Brexit vote, the same is happening in other European countries like Finland that have anti-immigration parties that provoke open conflict with migrants and minorities.

Right after the 2011 parliamentary elections, some Finns saw the victory of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party as a green light to attack migrants,  minorities, and our ever-growing culturally diverse society. Membres of the Somali community, one of the favorite scapegoats of the PS, were targetted.

Below is a comment Migrant Tales got from a visitor who believed that we’d be out of business because we would stop getting funding [1] from Kepa, an organisation that represents Finnish civil society organisations (CSOs) that work in development cooperation.

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Migrant Tales has received its fair share of attacks by people who want to keep Finland white.

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Finland’s ever-growing culturally diverse community must rise up and challenge hostile parties like the Perussuomalaiset

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Some ask me where do I get the energy and strength to write. My answer is simple: When I read and hear comments by politicians and people who hate and want to socially exclude me my blood begins to boil. The only remedy that calms me is writing and organizing my thoughts.

But we must do much more. It’s wishful thinking to believe that parties like the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, with the near-silent approval of most other parties, have declared war on us and our ever-growing culturally diverse community.

Read and listen carefully what parties like the PS have in store for us: They aim to relegate us to second- and third-class citizens, separate our families and continue to whitewash our history and our right to live in Finland.

We have a lot of support from white Finns but the spark that will challenge this threat to us and Finland is in our hands. We must rise up and challenge this cancer spreading throughout Finland and Europe.

I’m confident that we can send back this ogre to where it came from.

The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English names of the party adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We, therefore, prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings. The direct translation of “Perussuomalaiset” is “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” 

Anti-immigration populist foreign ministers like Timo Soini are constantly trying to score brownie points with the voters

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Populists like Finland’s Foreign Minister Timo Soini of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party are constantly campaigning. As we’ve seen in the disaster that Brexit inflicted on the United Kingdom, Soini too like Boris Johnson makes it up. 

Like Johnson, Soini has got hit hard in the polls because he made campaign promises that he could never keep.

In his usual style, the PS leader exaggerates to a reporter and viewers who are little informed about Finland.

“The discussion is now open and loud as well,” he told the Sky News reporter.

“Loud?” Oh, yes, because PS’ Sebastian Tynkkynen and Sampo Terho raised the possibility of a referendum in Finland.

Even if Soini acknowledges that there are no plans for the present government to hold a referendum on EU membership, he leaves the door ajar for such a possibility after the 2019 general elections.

“…each party is going to publish its program for the elections [concerning EU membership],” he continued. “It’s up to our people and our members to decide what kind of an approach we’ll have.”

Näyttökuva 2016-7-1 kello 10.38.33Listen to interview here.

Taking into account the popularity of the PS in the polls, which has plummeted, not too many will care what it does if it becomes a taxi party like in 2007, when it had 5 MPs.

A taxi party is a term used in Bolivia to describe parties that are so small that all of their members can fit inside a taxi.

The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English names of the party adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We, therefore, prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings. The direct translation of “Perussuomalaiset” is “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” 

 

Brexit proves (again) that Europe’s biggest threat was and still is nationalism and xenophobia

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We speak of external threats like globalization and others like asylum seekers as threats challenging this great Post-World War 2 experiment called the European Project. While the achievements of the European Union are formidable taking into account that we’re not going after each other’s throats after 1945, there is one threat that is the greatest of them all and one we should pay more attention to – nationalism and xenophobia.  

Xenophobia is expensive business for a society. Socially excluding people and creating discord don’t create jobs and economic wellbeing but cost the taxpayer an arm and leg.

Ruffle your nationalistic feathers with generous doses of bravado and you’ll end up like the United Kingdom today: A country that will see its political and economic clout diminished in the European Union thanks to Brexit.

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Read full story here.

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Tango with the Perussuomalaiset party of Finland and you’ll let loose an ogre

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Brexit is not only a good example that if you stoke the fires of nationalism you’ll get burned but if you try to play the same game as these populist anti-immigration groups you’ll let loose an ogre. This is what happened to former Prime Minister David Cameron and the United Kingdom last week. 

Finland has tried to play ball with the Perussuomalaiset (PS)*, our Ukip, but it has only served to poison the air and reinforced an us-and-them divide. Migrants and minorities are the biggest victims of such discord fuelled by the PS and the silence of other parties like the Center Party and National Coalition Party (NCP).

Even if most of  our media and the political establishment see the PS as “moderate populists with whom they can play ball,” they are anything but that when it comes to immigration policy and cultural diversity.

On immigration issues and cultural diversity to name just a few, the PS is a far-right party.

There are many examples in Europe about the rise of anti-immigration parties that offer simple solutions to complex challenges. The rise of such parties and their ever-rude messages are like a contagion inflicting hatred and hardship on Europe.

William Keegan highlighted this in a recent column in The Guardian:

“We know the shallow, indeed base, rationalisation: he was worried about the electoral threat from Ukip, and made the mistake of thinking that, by conceding a referendum, he could also silence, or at least calm down, the vociferous anti-Europeans within the Conservative party itself.”

Poet Antoine Cassar of Malta shed light on the ogre that is haunting the United Kingdom today:

“Theresa May as next UK prime minister? May is responsible for thousands of deportations and the separation of cross-border families. her husband is a major shareholder in G4S, which makes huge profits from detention centers and those same deportations. And she has repeatedly stated that the UK should withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights, thus making deportations even easier to carry out.”

Should we be surprised that the PS, which saw their popularity nosedive in the polls, is keen on capitalizing on the fallout from Brexit?

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Read full story here.

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Migrant’s Rights Network: The referendum vote – what will happen to the rights of migrants?

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Don Flynn*
We respond to the outcome of the referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union.

The vote to leave the European Union has thrown politics into a massive period of uncertainty.

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Read full story here.

It is clear that deep public concern about immigration has been one of the most important factors encouraging 52% of voters to take the drastic action of the probable severing of the connection with the largest economic market in the world.

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