Asylum seekers in Finland: New law that will shorten the time of appeal is a “cowardly” act

by , under Enrique Tessieri

President Sauli Niinistö signed into law Friday a bill that will make it virtually impossible for refugees to appeal asylum cases rejected by the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri), according to YLE News. While the Finnish media hasn’t cared to ask what asylum seekers think about the new law, Migrant Tales got in touch with three asylum seekers about the matter. 

The new law, which will come into force on September 1, will shorten from 30 days to 21 the rights of asylum seekers to appeal negative residence permit decisions by Migri.  Moreover, conditions to appeal to the supreme administrative court will become stricter as well.


Never ever forget that no one can take away your human rights. Article 30 states:  No one can take away your [human] rights.

An asylum seeker, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the person believed it wouldn’t jeopardize the person’s chances of getting a residence permit, said that the new law will reinforce what asylum seekers have come to learn the hard way about Finland. 

“People [asylum seekers] feel very sad [how the government has turned its back on them],” the source said. “They have learned that Finland has forfeit its humanity for economic considerations and that the government is racist. Imagine, we crossed dangerous seas, traveled through many countries to learn that in Finland nobody wants us and there are no human rights.”

Shorter appeal times will make harder for asylum seekers.

“Everywhere in the world, there’s a thirty-day period to appeal a decision,” the source continued. “Twenty-one days is not enough to mount a good appeal especially when there is a shortage of lawyers.”

Another asylum seeker, who spoke on condition of anonymity for the same reasons as the other source above, considered the new law “cowardly.”

“The government is playing dirty and in the end, I think, they will give all the people [asylum seekers] a negative decision. It’s a cowardly way that politicians use [to rid asylum seekers from the country].”

The first source asked what’s the purpose of appealing if the courts will rule against their cases anyway.

“All you have at the end of the day is no humanity and that we’ve been forsaken,” the source concluded. “Some of us will run away from Finland, others will return to our country and die there.”

Some are holding their breaths on how the government and Migri plan to deport thousands of people in Finland in the months ahead.

A third asylum seeker suspects that there is a deal between the Finnish and Iraqi government to return people to Iraq to fight against Isis.