Finnish Police Board clears police of ethnic profiling…Really?!

by , under Enrique Tessieri

The Police Board in Finland has cleared the police of ethnic profiling while monitoring migrants, according to YLE News. In a racialized country like Finland should we be surprised by the Police Board findings? 

Not in the least.

Let’s go back to spring 2016 when the police carried out spot checks with the Finnish Border Guard on “foreign-looking” people in the Helsinki, Espoo, and Vantaa.

The latter example doesn’t count, right?

When the police service and Finnish Border Guard stop “foreigners” or “foreign-looking people” for their IDs the question we should ask is what does “a foreigner” look like?

Read the full story here.

Migrant Tales has published some stories about suspected ethnic profiling cases and the Finnish police.

Apart from extremists like Perussuomalaiset (PS)* chairperson Jussi Halla-aho, a politician sentenced for ethnic agitation in 2012 and who supports ethnic profiling to fight terrorism, we read about how Musta Barbaari’s mother and sister were “humiliated publicly” by the police as well as the usual stream of denials.

Concern from public officials like the Ombudsman for Minorities about ethnic profiling is nothing new.

The Council of Europe expressed concern in 2013 about ethnic profiling by the police in Finland.

They don’t count either, right?

We’ve read examples of suspected ethnic profiling from people like Uyi Osazee. What about the case of a Finnish citizen who speaks Arabic as his mother tongue and had the following conversation below with the police in spring 2016 in downtown Helsinki. The Finnish citizen asked why he was stopped because he’s a Finnish citizen.

“What’s your mother tongue?” the police asked.


“You see you aren’t a Finn because your mother tongue is Arabic,” the police said.

If you want an answer if the police ethnically profile people or not, one should ask minorities like the Roma.

The fact that the police continue to play down and deny ethnic profiling and other issues with racism reveal a much wider and more serious problem in that service.

How long will the police continue to deny that ethnic profiling is not a problem?

* After the Perussuomalaiset (PS) party imploded on June 13 into two factions, the PS and New Alternative, which is now called Blue Reform. Despite the name changes, we believe that it is the same party in different clothing. Both factions are hostile to cultural diversity.  One is more open about it while the other is more diplomatic. 

A direct translation of Perussuomalaiset in English would be something like “basic” or “fundamental Finn.” Official translations of the Finnish name of the party, such as Finns Party or True Finns, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and racism. We, therefore, at Migrant Tales prefer to use in our postings the Finnish name of the party once and after that the acronym PS.


  1. intternetnetsi

    You forgot that in musta barbaari case two womans, his mom and sister, are suspects on “officer disobeying” and “disoboeying police officer”.

    5 individual witnesses cleared police from all wrongdoing.

    You are spreading lies.

    • Migrant Tales

      Come on, Hannu, give me a break. Being an active citizen in Finland doesn’t mean bowing to the arbitrary behavior of the police. Here’s the issue: ethnic profiling is illegal, full stop. The police appear to live in a bubble where they think that Finns cannot be white.