Suomen viharikosvastainen yhdistys ry
Finska Anti-Harbrottsorganisation rf
Anti-Hate Crime Organisation Finland
The news about the sexual assault cases in the northern Finnish city of Oulu have shocked everyone irrespective of the person’s cultural and religious background. Even so, in racializing the problem and debating whether sexual abuse is linked to a person’s cultural and religion, we have strayed further from finding a solution to the problem.
Apart from the minors who were the victims, other casualties are Finland’s migrant community and especially Muslim asylum seekers and refugees.
Apart from Muslims avoiding visiting Oulu’s city center at night because they feel unsafe, a number of migrants were attacked in that city. On Christmas Eve-Day, Oulu’s mosque was vandalized when a bike rack was thrown through a window.
Another outcome was the City of Oulu’s decision on January 28 to ban asylum seekers from visiting schools and daycare centers. The question that we should ask concerning the temporary ban is if it is legal.
Section 6 of the Constitution clearly states that everyone is equal before the law. Discrimination “on the ground of sex, age, origin, language, religion, conviction, opinion, health disability or other reasons that concerns his or her persons” is illegal.
Anti-Hate Crime Organisation Finland (Suomen viharikosvasainen yhdistys ry) spoke to the City of Oulu Tuesday and asked if the ban applies only to asylum seekers. The answer was in the affirmative.
For the ban to be legal in Oulu, it should apply to all visits from all groups and not just one, asylum seekers and refugees, should be singled out.
It is not clear what the City of Oulu wants to accomplish with the ban except than satisfy “parental concerns.” In our opinion, the ban goes further and is harmful because it fuels suspicion and mistrust of migrants.
If this is a clear case of discrimination, and we believe that it is, we should challenge it with all our might so that this case happens again in a country that is supposed to value social equality.
For further information:
Enrique Tessieri Ahti Tolvanen
040 8400773 046 6560224