By Enrique Tessieri
Scandal-ridden Perussuomalaliset (PS) party MP, Teuvo Hakkarainen, has stuck his foot in his mouth again. This time he has taken the law in his hands and instigated a social-media lynch mob against two minors found guilty of rape, according to Keskisuomalainen. The Jyväskylä-based daily reports that Hakkarainen published on his Facebook page a link to court documents that give the accused names, identification numbers, addresses and even their parents’ names.
“The court case can be found by anyone,” he was quoted as saying. “It’s not a problem. The link is there and that’s that. I don’t protect rapists. If someone wants to protect them it’s their business but I don’t protect them.”
A person apparently belonging to a far-right association tried to post the full text of the court case on Migrant Tales, which acted promptly to take them down thanks to our associate editors JusticeDemon and Mark.
Hakkarainen writes on his Facebook page, where all the posts on his wall have been now removed, the following from Singapore: …I pleasantly found out [in Singapore] that first and foremost immigrants that come to live here work and respect the local culture and people. It’s unfortunate that not everyone that goes there [to Finland] doesn’t share the same positive attitude, especially those in this case [below he shows a link to the court documents] of gross lack of respect…”
In his shortlived Facebook statement, Hakkarainen defends what he did by publishing the court documents because the media doesn’t do its job. Part of the court documents have been made secret until 2072. In Finland, the names of those that have been accused of crimes that carry over two-year prison sentences are not published by the media.
While a crime like rape must be strongly condemned by society, it is equally unacceptable that a public official like an MP takes justice in his hands.
Hakkarainen’s social-media call to lynch the sentenced minors reveals two disturbing matters: The PS MP from Viitasaari is unrepentant about his many former racist gaffes; by scapegoating people with non-white Finnish backgrounds he tries to absolve his past problematic behavior.
Migrant Tales wrote the previous month how anti-immigration groups like the PS plan a vicious campaign against immigrants and minorities in order to boost their sagging popularity. The Helena Eronen-James Hirvisaari scandal is one recent example as is the present ploy by Hakkarainen to publish hitherto-secret court documents.
Another case is far-right hardline anti-immigration PS MP Olli Immonen, who suggested that East European Roma beggars should be deported from Finland in the same way that the fascist Lapuan liike movement (1929-32) did to its enemies to the former Soviet Union.
Taking into account the recent and present scandals that are rocking the PS, one could ask if its chairman Timo Soini has lost control over the party and what we are seeing in fact is a power struggle between two rival groups: the Rural Party and far-right anti-immigration wing.
A column published by Yrjö Rautio on Apu magazine makes the same conclusion as Migrant Tales. That is exactly what is taking place at this moment.