Police disband and detain Iraqi demonstrators in front of the Finnish Immigration Service building

by , under Enrique Tessieri


The demonstration by Iraqi asylum seekers that began on Thursday in front of the Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) building ended at about 1 am Sunday, according to Outi Popp, a Right to Live (Oikeus elää) activist who brings awareness to deportations to unsafe countries like Afghanistan and Iraq.

According to a video by Popp, several police cars, a dog and even an armored vehicle appeared at the scene. The demonstration was disbanded and four demonstrators detained by the police after they said claimed they had permission to be there.

A first, the police said that a city ordinance prohibited people from camping outdoors after midnight. Popp said that Police Commissioner Johanna Sinivuori had given them permission to demonstrate in front of the building until Monday morning.

See also: Asylum seekers start indefinite demonstration in front of the Finnish Immigration Service

But when Commissioner Sinivuori was reached by phone, she said that the permit to demonstrate was canceled after the far-right vigilante group Soldiers of Odin were inquiring about the demonstration.

The police arrive at the scene on Sunday at about 1 am.

Walid Sahib, one of the persons taking part in the demonstration, said on Thursday that the demonstration aimed to raise awareness of the plight of undocumented migrants and others in limbo concerning their asylum applications.

Some asylum seekers in Finland have been waiting for over four years for a decision from Migri concerning their asylum cases

“There are many [thousands] people with no permission in Finland and [others] waiting for four years for their residence permits,” said Sahib. “It is a very difficult situation.”