A letter to the Non-Discrimination Ombudsperson Kirsi Pimiä

by , under Anonymous

Dear Kirsi,

I have written to PM Juha Sipilä twice concerning his ‘reluctance’ to publicly acknowledge racial discrimination in Finland (FRA EU MIDIS-II 2017 12.12.2017 meeting in Helsinki).

Cultural diversity is a highly emotive subject especially when one becomes a victim of racially motivated hatred and intentional discrimination.

Go to original posting here.

You have acknowledged the results of the EU MIDIS-II report – together with Deputy State Prosecutor [Raija Toiviainen]– and I thank you and others for speaking out on this politically sensitive issue. I believe that you deserve the backing and support of an administration that has thus far shown only weakness and ineptitude in challenging racism and discrimination. Denial of racism in Finland – such as the 2015 Nordic Media press conference showed – is no longer acceptable.

In my opinion, leadership should come from the PM, and I have invited PM Juha Sipilä to engage with his critics and take action to eradicate discrimination and other social ills that affect Finnish society.

The FRA EU MIDIS-II 2017 report – together with insight from [FRA Director] Prof M O’Flaherty – confirms that the Finnish government can no longer deny that there ISN’T a problem. It is also evident that this issue – if permitted to persist – will lead to dissent and hatred (possibly radicalization) within Finland.

For perhaps too many new Finnish citizens in Finland are relegated to live as second-class citizens with third-rate representation.

I have personal experience of racist treatment and discrimination against myself and my family, including my daughter, who was bullied by a racist school teacher. The same school teachers also attempted to destroy our family with harmful false allegations. My Finnish wife was in total disbelief that this happened in her country. The resulting fallout ended in one teacher’s suspension from the school and the others getting yelled at (we were told unofficially).

In the ordeal with the school, the only assistance I received was from a personal friend from the independent [municipal] education board. That committee also had to fight to convene an emergency meeting with the uncooperative local head of education who was only interested in trying to avoid the meeting. The same person also attempted to leave the meeting and was told by the chairperson to remain seated until the whole issue was resolved. The same person even later offered me an insult that it was all maassa maan tavalla which in her opinion means that staff can abuse their authority and she accepts it. My experiences are with a local authority that can both practice and excuse racial discrimination due to inadequate monitoring and regulation from an external agency.

This is just some of what I have experienced, and sadly I was not asked to give feedback to FRA survey.

I welcome any opportunity to discuss these issues with you or one of your colleagues and also want to know what steps will be taken to address these issues.

PM Juha Sipilä and his colleagues must respond to the FRA report findings.


*Name not published by request.