Does Finland treat asylum seekers with human dignity or as livestock?

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Ever wonder why the media, the government never mind private companies running asylum reception centers in Finland are so quiet about the people they are giving shelter, food, and temporary protection? The mere fact that we know so little already raises a lot of questions like the Suomen Kuvalehti story about the death of an asylum seeker in early January in Espoo.

If we are fair, there are reception centers in Finland that treat asylum seekers with dignity irrespective of their limited resources.

Luona, a private company that runs asylum reception centers in Helsinki, Vantaa, and Espoo, claims that there was no negligence concerning the death of the young Afghani asylum seeker, Jayyed Abbas Jaffari (1995-2016), at its reception center in Nihtisilta.

But who should we believe? Has there been an independent investigation?

Some speculate that Luona, fearing a backlash after the death of the Afghani asylum seeker, got Ilta-Sanomat interested in the story. In the story, the company claims that there was no negligence. Others, however, believe the total opposite and go as far as to claim that the company used the Ilta-Sanomat story to cover up its negligence.

Asylum seekers at the center where the Afghani died of a brain hemorrhage state that he tried to get medical attention but the company refused it to him.

“He went for three consecutive days to ask for help from the nurse because he suffered from headaches,” a source told Migrant Tales. “Each time he was told by the nurse to take Burana and drink tea. On the fourth day he collapsed and died and was taken to the hospital.”

Here’s the million-euro question that the death of the Afghani exposes: Are asylum seekers at Luona’s reception centers given adequate medical attention or are they asked to buy Panadol or Burana for their pain?


Näyttökuva 2016-1-22 kello 19.12.57
Read full story here.

Why wouldn’t a reception center like Luona want to send asylum seekers to the hospital for treatment?

“If they send them to the hospital it means additional costs for the company,” the source said. “If the person is prescribed drugs by the doctor it’s the asylum center that has to pay for them. Asylum seekers have to pay for their own medicine if they buy Burana.”

Migrant Tales heard from an asylum seeker at the same reception center where the Afghani died that a nurse that treats such people asks them if they are going to die? If their answer is no they don’t need to go to the hospital.

“The nurse tells them that they should wait patiently until they get their residence permit and then they can go to a hospital,” the source added.

Is all this true or made up fiction?

Sources at the reception centers claim them to be true.

There are a lot of question marks but some of the most important ones remain unanswered: Who is watching over, never mind defending, the rights of asylum seekers at Finland’s reception centers? Are private companies like Luona only interested in profits? Are asylum seekers being treated like livestock and with total disregard for their dignity because (a) companies want to make a profit and (b) and because we have a government that could care less?

One asylum seeker said that people at Luona’s reception centers were treated like livestock, or like the Suomen Kuvalehti article also states.