A letter from Rashid H., the Pakistani migrant who was brutally attacked by three white Finnish youths. Where is justice?

by , under Rashid H. and Migrant Tales

Migrant Tales insight: The police has criticized us for insisting that Rashid H’s case was a hate crime. The police claim that what happened to the Pakistani migrant on February 23 was not a hate crime. They said that they have access to information that is not available to the public and can make better judgements about a crime than us. True, but what about the victim? Certainly, Rashid H and his family have first-hand information as victims. Both of them are adamant: What happened was a hate crime.

The police told Rashid’s wife that what happened to her husband was not a hate crime because “it wasn’t planned.” She even claimed that the police had told her that the assailants were intoxicated and therefore could not be a hate crime. 

One matter that surprises me on some occasions is how rapidly the police determine a crime is not a hate crime. This happened in Rashid H’s case. The following day after the attack, his wife got a call from the police and the first thing she asked was if what happened was a hate crime. The police responded that it wasn’t.

How did they arrive at such a conclusion so rapidly?

Moreover, when I spoke to the investigating officer about the matter, he said that he had interrogated the three assailants and he vouched that they “weren’t racists.” Really? Did he give them a test?  Determining if a person is racist is the wrong way to go about the matter. We should ask instead  the following question: Could what happened or what was said be interpreted as racist?

When the police investigate a crime, they look at matters like who, where and when but rarely why

We believe that our reporting on Rashid H’s case had a positive impact on the police investigation. Initially, the police had charged the three suspects with attempted manslaughter but on April 19, close to two months later, they changed it to attempted murder. 

The three youths were sentenced on May 25 to 9.5 years in prison for their crime.


Dear friend,

Even if the district court and court of appeal did not accept what happened to me was a hate crime, I feel today desperate and abandoned. When I was in the hospital with 30 stab wounds, fractured skull and other life-threatening injuries caused by three white Finnish youths, I felt forsaken. Not one person from the government or any newspaper cared to contact me.

I cannot understand this behavior and why.

Read the full story here.

Even if the police claims that what happened was not a hate crime, I have my doubts. The following doubt will always hound me: Would I have been attacked in such a vicious manner if I were a Finn?

The picture of the drops of blood on the snow [see above] where taken by my friend, That picture reveals a lot about what happened to me in February and raises a question. Do I have equal rights like a Finn? I don’t feel that I do and feel abandoned even if I did not commit any crime.

Believe me, I have suffered greatly as has my family.  My suffering has led me to lose hope in this country and its people. Even when I step out of my home I feel apprehension. When will I start to believe in people again if some this horrible happened to me?

I have read a lot about the sexual harassment cases in Oulu. Every minister, even the prime minister, rightfully gives his attention and understanding to the victims and their families. Why didn’t the government give me the same attention? It would have helped a lot to heal my wounds and not feel today so abandoned by society.

The government has taken a tough stand about what happened in Oulu. They state that if an immigrant commits a crime, their residence permit and citizenship should be revoked. But about if a Finn commits similar crimes? If there is equality, their residence permit and citizenship should be cancelled as well. Why are Finnish criminals treated differently from migrants?

Nothing can bring back my former life and, worse, my health, emotional state and my belief in people. My wife, two daughters, and I are facing the most difficult times of our lives. My financial situation has taken a blow as well and my wife lives as well in a constant state of fear. Even if some claim wrongly that I have received a lot of compensation money, nothing could be further from the truth.

I take many medicines like painkillers for my many ailments.

I have no platform to express what I feel and what happened to me except for this blog.

But something positive did come out of this suffering: We founded in September Finland’s first hate crime NGO called Anti-Hate Crime Organisation (Suomen viharikosvastainen yhdistys ry).

One of the matters I promised to myself when I was recovering in hospital from all the wounds was to raise my voice and awareness about hate crime.

Best Regards,

Rashid H.

  1. intternetnetsi

    Police dont charge anyone, they had to have in 3 days reasonable intent if they want to keep people locked, judge decides. this case it was attempted manslaughter. When they got everything, excluding you because you only annoy them, they changed it to attempted murder. 3 mens telling different story that your 1 man… Regardless this had nothing to do with race.