Oikeus elää – A Right to live الحق للعيش demonstrations are taking place in Helsinki, Kolari, Kemi and elsewhere.
World Refugee Day is celebrated on June 20.
Is Iraq a safe country to return asylum seekers? Many disagree.
Writes Beri Jamal: Today is an important day for humanity and for all refugees who have received a judgment to be sent back to Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia. We want to protest against this decision that these countries are not safe for them to return to. Let us participate and influence the decision, let our voices reach to the authorities and tell them that this decision is unfair approved and is against all humanity!
16.42: Narikkatori square in Helsinki is full and there are some 500 people taking part in the demonstration, according to Jamal.
16.55: Migrant Tales got a call from the northern Finnish city of Kemi. There were about 30 people demonstrating there today. The police has, ironically, arranged a meeting today with asylum seekers about returning back to Iraq. “They [asylum seekers] met with the police and shouted to the police that there’s no humanity and that the government is inhumane and they left the meeting,” an asylum seeker in Kemi said by phone. “They refused to accept the police offer to go back to Iraq.”
Asylum seekers meeting with the police today in the city of Kemi.
Asylum seekers walking out in protest during the meeting with police.
17.19: Live from Kamppi.
17.56: More pictures of asylum seekers protesting in Kolari.
18.26: An asylum seeker in Kolari said that about 40 Iraqis took part in the demonstrated today. “There was a woman from the Kolari newspaper who came with a camera to take pictures of us demonstrating,” the asylum seeker said. “She asked us questions like why we are demonstrating. I told her that we are demonstrating because Iraq is not a safe country to return refugees [like a new assessment alleges].”
18.40: Social Democrat MP Nasima Razmyar speaks to the demonstrators.
19.35: Jamal said at least two MPs attended the demonstration in Helsinki: Razmyar and Pekka Haavisto of the Green Party. Another MP that visited the demonstration was Hanna Sarkkinen of the Left Alliance.
19.52: A story published by Karjalainen earlier today concerning the demonstration in Joensuu, located in Eastern Finland.
Read full story (in Finnish) here.
20.46: Earlier today asylum seekers in Jyäskylä demonstrated as well.
20.54: Jamal reports that the demonstration in Helsinki was a success with over 500 people attending. “The asylum seekers didn’t show sadness in their faced but were defiant by showing that they hadn’t lost hope,” she said. “Everyone that we spoke to was eager to tell their story. That story is a very simple one: they want to build a new life in a new country that isn’t at war.”