UPDATE: Minor asylum seeker at the Villa Meri reception center sent to hospital after getting pepper-sprayed by security guard

by , under Enrique Tessieri, Martin Al-Laji

UPDATE (3:52pm): According to one security guard contacted by Migrant Tales, pepper spray can only be used on a person if the security guard is assaulted physically. Pepper spray is used only for defensive purposes. 

The source at Villa Meri claims that the minor who was pepper-sprayed did not attack the security guard physically. “He didn’t put a hand on him,” said the source. 

If pepper spray is used, the security guard must inform the police and remain next to the victim if he or she needs help. A report is written with one going to the police, the security company, and to the client, which would be in this case Hoitopalvelu Metsätähti. 

It’ll be interesting to see what happens in this case and if the asylum seeker didn’t attack the security guard. 


We continue to get worrisome news from the Villa Meri asylum reception center of Rauma. An asylum seeker at the center, who is a minor, was peppered sprayed on Friday and taken to the hospital. Why? Because he protested that his sister, who came from Helsinki to visit him, had to leave the center.

The Villa Meri reception center, which is located 91km north of Turku, is managed by a private company called Hoitopalvelu Metsätähti, which is a subsidiary of Helsinki-based health care and social services company Mehiläinen.

“The problem was that the [young] asylum seeker didn’t want his sister to be kicked out of the camp since there were no buses to Helsinki and because she had no place to stay,” an asylum seeker at Villa Meri told Migrant Tales by phone. “After the security guard sprayed him with pepper spray, the police came and he was taken to the hospital. He came back to Villa Meri the next day.”

The minor’s sister is believed to have slept at the bus station since she had too little money to go to a hotel.

The minor had tried to speak with the manager of the camp, Päivi Nikkola, for quite a while, according to the asylum seeker.

“She always tells him that she doesn’t have any time to talk to him,” the person said.

Are the stricter rules at Villa Meri due to the suspected rape case of an adolescent that took place in October or just arbitrary bullying by the staff?

The minor who was pepper-sprayed was taken to the hospital for treatment. He returned to the camp the following day.

Child-protection officials

Migrant Tales contacted city child protection officials in October to inquire if it is possible for a couple with four children at Villa Meri to live in a 15-square-meter room? Add to this problem the fact that the parents don’t work and are confined near-24/7 for about a year in a small room and we start to see more clearly their difficult situation.

If this family’s case involved a migrant living in Finland or a Finn, the children would be taken into custody for living in too small quarters.

While it appears that there is one set of standards for Finns and resident migrants, there are totally different ones for asylum seekers.

The manager of the child protection department of Rauma never called back.

Even if there are problems at the Villa Meri reception center that haven’t been resolved if asylum seekers are to be believed, it appears that the management has done little to nothing to resolve them.