A group of men with bottles and knives barged in a book presentation in the central Finnish city of Jyväskylä on far-right extremism, according to Yle in English. The men, who called themselves ”patriots,” injured one of the body guards who was taken to hospital. The attackers fled the scene.
Members of the neo-Nazi Suomen Kansalinen Vastarinta (SKV) are suspected to have attacked the book presentation.
Two of Äärioikesto Suomessa’s (Far right in Finland) three authors, Li Andersson and Mikael Brunila, were present at the event but weren’t hurt.
The police, who haven’t yet caught the suspects, said that they are investigating the incident as aggravated assault.
MTV3 reported on the 10pm news that two of the attackers ave been identified but could not confirm if the police had apprehended them.
The attack in Jyväskylä demonstrates that far right and neo-Nazi groups in Finland are getting bolder.
Far right in Finland ‘s third author, Dan Koivulaakso, was attacked with pepper spray in June at a North Pride event in Oulu.
If the police would connect all the recent dots about the presence of far-right violence in this country, I’m certain that some would be concerned.
The same way that the police plays down the threat of these groups, it doesn’t appear too concerned either by the rising number of hate crimes and racism inflicting this country.
Many who write about racism in Finland get harassed. The first story I wrote about how badly Somali’s were treated in Mikkeli in the early 1990s for a major Finnish magazine landed me two death threats by phone. There was a third caller who harassed and insulted me over the phone.
The death threats and threats in general haven’t stopped. I filed a complaint to the police last spring about such cases but haven’t heard a word from them. The policeman investigating the case doesn’t even answer my phone calls.
Believe it or not, the police in Mikkeli and Pieksämäki have told me that I should not report racist harassment cases to the police.
It’s time for the authorities to get tough with neo-Nazi and far right groups that use violence and death threats to get across their message.