Victim pays fine to attacker of racially motivated crime

by , under Enrique

By Enrique Tessieri

A story published by Kuopio-based Savon Sanomat* on Monday shows us how a racially motivated crime can lead to a conviction involving the victim. Thus this shows how the victim’s population group become part of the statistical profile. Anti-immigration groups then use the information to show a group’s “abnormally high propensity to violent crime.”

JusticeDemon makes a valid point: “Offences characterised by the use of excessive force in self-defence can only occur when self-defence is possible, i.e. when the offender has been attacked. It follows that any population group with a high propensity to victimhood will also have a disproportionately higher propensity to commit such offences.”

The story reports that in Iisalmi a dark-skinned woman, a native Finn, was attacked in public with a knife by a compete stranger. Fortunately nothing happened to the victim but the both of them ended up in a brawl in which the woman punched the aggressor in the face, for which she got slapped a 100 euro fine by a court.

The same man that attacked the woman earlier, attacked a dark-skinned security guard at a camp. He racially insulted the security guard and the women, who had paid him 100 euros for damages.

The man was finally convicted and sentenced by an Iisalmi court to a seven-month prison term.

*Thank you JusticeDemon for the heads up! 

  1. D4R

    Mr fake Hassan, a question for you. Do you think racism is wrong or what? also, how did this incident moved you or did it move you at all?

  2. Just A Guy

    “Monday shows us how a racially motivated crime can lead to a conviction involving the victim.”

    It really doesn’t matter whether the crime is racially motivated or not. The victim is always made out to be the bad guy if he fights back. It’s a really nice justice system we have in here don’t you think?

    • Migrant Tales

      Hi Just A Guy and welcome to Migrant Tales. I agree but this case reported on Savon Sanomat is pretty depressing.

    • Migrant Tales

      Hi perfofartsuvs, and welcome to our blog, Migrant Tales. You are working on a very interesting thesis topic. Would you like to tell us about it. It sounds like something up our alley.

  3. BlandaUpp

    This is how incidents of bullying at school or in the workplace are also dealt with. It’s not uncommon for teachers to demand an apology from the bullied child if they dare to retaliate against a bully.

    • Migrant Tales

      BlandaUpp, sad but true. There is definitely something wrong here.

  4. joku

    BlandaUpp: “It’s not uncommon for teachers to demand an apology from the bullied child if they dare to retaliate against a bully.”

    This does seem wrong. But don’t we all still agree that two wrongs don’t make a right?

    I mean, if someone were to commit a racist hate crime, let’s say kill another person, we would not excuse them even if they themselves had a difficult violent family background?

    Even a bullied child cannot be allowed to bully another.

  5. Farang

    Enrique, you have combined two this that has nothing to do with each other, just to make it look like something it’s not.

    The fact that the victim was convicted of assault is just a result of Finnish justice system, which prevents innocent people to properly defend themselves. That conviction has absolutely nothing to do with the attackers racist motives.

    Joku, if your child would be bullied in school, how would you deal with the situation? Bullied child should have every right to attack back. I did that when I was bullied at school, and only that ended it for good.

    • Migrant Tales

      Farang, one of the first things that surprised me when I moved to Finland was if a person attacked you. Even if he punched the living daylights out of you, you did not have the right to hit back.

  6. Joku

    Farang, as a parent I would of course be incredibly angry. I might even encourage him to hit back, because as a parent my concern would be for my child, above anyone else.

    Still, when it comes to dealing out justice, I understand my child would not be entitled to use violence any more than any other child. I mean my feelings would disagree with my rational mind here.

    If he was caught hitting back, I would understand why he was punished – because two wrongs don’t make a right. I would sit down with him and talk about this.

    Sanctioning violence is a slippery slope.

    If someone who is bullied were to have the right to bully back, where would it end?

    And don’t you think that a lot of the perpetrators of the racist crimes discussed on this forum have themselves been victims of some form of injustice at some point?

    Don’t you see that a lot of them might feel they were “just righteously fighting back”, defending themselves?

    Violence is always wrong.

    • Migrant Tales

      –If someone who is bullied were to have the right to bully back, where would it end?

      You raise some good points, Joku. And I agree: violence is always wrong. That includes physical and psychological.

      One of my students from North Karelia told about how she was bullied at school because of her Russian background. She spoke Finnish and was ethnically no different from her fellow classmates. The matter that struck me was when she said that the teachers didn’t do anything. They were silent. Now what kind of violence is that? Worse than getting hit I would suspect.

      She told me that even today as an adult she is bullied at her home town by some for having a Russian background.

      When I was a kid and lived for three years in Finland, the kids who lived in the same apartment blocks as I literally attacked me when I went out. I had to fight back and won their respect in this way. However, at my grandparents home, older kids would always attack me. If I was outside alone, they would bully me.

  7. Joku

    “They were silent. Now what kind of violence is that? Worse than getting hit I would suspect.”

    Yes. This is the really difficult bit. I mean, physical violence -although horrible – is often much easier to understand and to deal with.

    I remember listening to my parents’ talk about the most painful experiences of their childhoods. I was struck by how trivial these things seemed to me. You know, “I have never been able to forgive the way the teacher looked at me when he gave me back the exam paper.” I mean, I bet the teacher was dealing with 40 children and probably never concentrated on how he looked handing out a paper. For my mother, this brief moment has haunted her for 70 years…

    In the same way, I imagine what it must feel for someone to be visibly different – let’s say black – in some place where no-one else looks like that. In that person’s world, others are always staring at him. Probably it feels that they are menacing, hateful? Whereas “the others” may only be curiously glancing at someone who looks different, without giving it a thought. For “the others” it’s just a passing moment, for “the different” it may be more like a life sentence.

    A child will be scarred for life for not finding friends. It’s easy telling people not to hit each other. You can ask children to be friendly towards each other, how can you force them to be friends, really play together daily?

    As an adult, I would not take it kindly if I was told who to have as my friends. I don’t envy teachers trying to figure that problem out.

    • Migrant Tales

      Joku, if you are a visible minority then you cannot hide. These problems hit people/kids in different ways. One important matter, however, when we begin to heal from these things is when we start to accept who we are. It’s like picking up the pieces and putting yourself back together. If you do that, you will be a much stronger person than those that bullied you.

      This blog, for example, is a way of putting myself back together and rediscovering my roots (which I wasn’t supposed to have because of my background) with this country. I am grateful that I have found that path. There are many, many people like me in Finland.

      I am sorry to hear about your mother.

  8. pun the librarian

    “Even if he punched the living daylights out of you, you did not have the right to hit back.”

    Well, this is not quite true, is it. I’ll admit that the courts interpret the law quite oddly sometimes but you still have the right to defend yourself.

    Now, this is a “just-so” story but as Migrant Tales is pretty much about “just-so”-stories, hear me out.

    The racist from Iisalmi has a history of harassing minorities. He starts harassing this woman who responds by punching him and he uses this as an excuse to stab her. Court gives her a small fine, not because she defended herself but because she initiated physical violence.

    This might not be true but I have not seen any evidence (for or against) that the victim punched the man after he had stabbed her. True or not, this is a far more likely scenario than court giving a fine to this woman for defending herself during or right after she had been stabbed.

    And before you ask, I am not in favor of giving the stabby shit a medal and I think that a suspended sentence of seven months is a joke.

  9. Mark

    Joku

    Whereas “the others” may only be curiously glancing at someone who looks different, without giving it a thought. For “the others” it’s just a passing moment, for “the different” it may be more like a life sentence.

    This is where one bad apple can have a huge impact. It only takes one person to come up to you and give you a mouthful about going back to where you belong, and all those silent stares filled with unknowns, but which could most likely be interpreted as curiosity suddenly become filled with potential menace. In fact, just NOT KNOWING becomes itself a new kind of threat that didn’t exist before. And that’s where other people’s reassurance becomes so much more important.

    It’s so easy to reverse this person’s experience and label it racism. The new sense of threat is interpreted as saying ‘he or she is thinking all Finns are alike, that is racist’. The reality is that ‘silence’ lets in the monsters. This is why Finns should make an effort to reassure, not because they are responsible, but because they are compassionate and they understand how easy it is to become afraid after a bad experience.

    The same can be said the other way too. It is important that immigrant communities assert the values that they share with Finns. Not because it’s ‘demanded’, but because reassurance goes a long way to reduce fears. We humans are too proud too often, though!

    You can ask children to be friendly towards each other, how can you force them to be friends, really play together daily?

    The children should be supported in their choices. The key question is not making people choose to be friends with people who are different, but sending a clear message that bullying that person for choosing to be friends with someone different is wrong.

    Bullies benefit in a climate of fear. That has always been the way. Choice means nothing if there is no moral boundary against which to understand the consequences of those choices for others.

  10. Mary Mekko

    If it’s any consolation to you poor Finns who can’t defend yourselves from verbal or physical attack, we here in San Francisco, especially women and whites, have the same problem. We fight back and we ‘re in trouble with the police… I know from my own experience, and years later it still makes me LIVID that we were not able to defend ourselves legally.

    You all might want to read the latest big murder story from Florida, where a boy (about 17, and partially black) cut through a private community illegally – it was gated – to get to his father’s home. A security guard of some type of Hispanci descent, last name Zimmerman, claiming to be “white”, followed him as a “suspicious character,” precisely his job. The boy would not stop, he fled.

    In the end, the boy was shot. A huge hullabaloo has ensued. But in Florida it brings up the question of “Stand your ground” rights, where private property owners, feeling threatened by an invader on their land or buildings, have the right to defend themselves with weapons.

    A very sticky issue, really… Try to find the article, Enrique, and give your usual “minorities are always right” point of view. Very few articles emphasize that he was trespassing!

    As for this native Finn, that she fought back should be commended. Women are the biggest oppressed minority in terms of harassment. I think she should write articles about herself, accuse her attacker, put photos of him on the internet to warn all other women (any skin color), and send her righteous action around the world as an example for all. STAND YOUR GROUND! For you, Enrique, it helps that she’s “dark” (gypsy?), but I say, WOMEN FIGHT!!! Don’t be victims! Every bullied kid knows that.

    Plus, she could now plan an interesting revenge on this fellow.

    For example, put his phone number on public toilets as a guy happy to “suck ****” and send him the right kind of new friends! That is a very wicked and effective way to attack a man without getting the police to fine you. Of course, he’s in prison, where he will do the sucking.

  11. Allan

    Yes, the “system” is totally bonkers.

    Did you read of the 86-year old lady whose bank card was nicked and her bank account emptied. Really, the victim in Finland is the one that has no rights whatsoever.
    http://www.iltalehti.fi/uutiset/2012032615327882_uu.shtml

    And what comes to the original case – defending yourself even in your own home is illegal:
    http://www.iltalehti.fi/uutiset/2012032515369832_uu.shtml
    Granted, whacking someone with a hammer or punching with an iron bar in the face is a bit over the top.

    But this case, someone comes at you with a knife, and causes a “scratch” WTF do they expect a person to do?

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