PS MP Halla-aho to attend first Council of Europe meeting Monday

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Perussuomalaiset (PS) MP Jussi Halla-aho, who was sentenced for ethnic agitation, will represent Finland at a Council of Europe meeting Monday in Strasbourg, according to Tampere-based Aamulehti, which cites STT

Kuvankaappaus 2014-1-24 kello 22.54.51
Read full story (in FInnish) here.

The appointment of Halla-aho to the Finnish delegation to the Council of Europe last year prompted a joint statement by the leaders of seven parliamentary parties expressing regret over this move.

One of the aims of the Council of Europe is to promote human rights.

National Coalition Party MP Kimmo Sasi, who is Vice-Chairman of the Finnish delegation to the Council of Europe, said that Halla-aho’s appointment as deputy member didn’t advance Finland’s image as a country that defends human rights.

True, but Sasi forgets that before 1995, when Finland became an EU member, the human rights of migrants were not respected. One clear indication of breaches of human rights were denying Soviet citizens the right to political asylum in Finland.

The fact that Finland’s third largest party in parliament, the PS, doesn’t have any problems with naming an MP like Halla-aho to represent this country speaks volumes about the state of intolerance in this country.

Finland was one of the last countries in Western Europe to join the Council of Europe in 1989. Finland’s special relationship with the former Soviet Union was one reason why Finland took so long to join.