Two peaceful demonstrations by Iraqi asylum seekers took place Wednesday in Helsinki and Kemi to protest a Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) assessment that countries like Iraq are safe for asylum seekers, according to the organizers.
“About 150 people took part in the demonstration today in front of Parliament [in Helsinki],” an asylum seeker told Migrant Tales.
“This is an important message that we must get across,” said another asylum seeker in Kemi by phone. “Countries like Iraq aren’t safe for us to return.”
The new assessment by Migri makes it harder for asylum seekers in Finland to be granted residence permits.
Last year, some 32,500 asylum seekers came to Finland. Most of them were from Iraq.
The tightening of government immigration policies is attributable to the rise in anti-immigration sentiment and to the anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party, which is a member of government with the Center Party and National Coalition Party.
Seventy to eighty protesters took part in the demonstration in the northern city of Kemi on Wednesday.
Demonstrators in Kemi stated that Iraq isn’t a safe country despite the new assessment by Migri.
Demonstrators in Kemi.