Posts Tagged: ethnic profiling

The Musta Barbari and Fares Al-Abaidi cases deal a further blow to police credibility in Finland

Two rulings in two important cases involving ethnic profiling and suspected hate crime are a further stain on the credibility of the Finnish police. One of these took over six years to get a just ruling by the Supreme Administrative Court, and another one just slapped the hand of the suspect lightly. Ethnic profiling, which

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Two stories that reveal a lot about racism in Finland

Two stories that expose injustice and denial in Finland became public this week: First, the Supreme Administrative Court of Finland ruled Thursday that the police ethnically profiled singer Musta Barbari’s mother and sister in July 2016. The other news is about an Iraqi youth who white Finns violently attacked in July 2020.  Both cases are not only

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Do you trust the Finnish police?

A 2020 survey showed that 91% trusted the police, down from 95% in 2018, according to the Police University College. Other studies have pointed out that trust in the police is high, even among migrants. Despite the high amount of trust, the police service has not been immune to scandals. The latest one involved a

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The Pekka Kataja account of his attackers’ identity changes again

THIS STORY WAS UPDATED The Pekka Kataja story, the Perussuomnalaiset (PS) councilor of Jämsänkoski, is constantly changing. First, he claims that “Arab-looking” men assaulted him. That has now morphed into “possibly” it was the far right or far left. Kataja even claimed that he was attacked due to his opinions of an asylum reception center,

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Islamophobe warning: Look out for the “Arab-looking” and “bearded minor!”

THE STORY WAS UPDATED On Friday, we read about an assault against a Perussuomalaiset (PS) politician in Jämsänkoski. Pekka Kataja, who was rushed to the hospital to treat his head wounds, broken ribs, and a concussion. The PS politician, who has made a name thanks to his anti-Muslim opinions, claims that the men who attacked

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HSL: Systemic racism and systemic denial in Finland

THE STORY WAS UPDATED We have recently read about two cases where security guards use force to handle a passenger that does not have a ticket. In both these cases, there is a link: both are black passengers. Both passengers were also on a transport or at a station operated by the Helsinki Regional Transport

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Habiba Ali: Stand up for your rights and don’t remain quiet if you are treated unjustly

Habiba Ali, a Social Democrat candidate for parliament, was stopped on Saturday by a security guard at the Entresse Shopping Center’s Lidl and wrongly suspected of shoplifting a can of tuna fish. Ali asked the security guard, who treated her with respect, why she would shoplift a can of tuna if she just purchased a lot of food from the market. 

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A Cameroonian national football player’s 18-day detention and nightmare in Finland

Bad luck and alleged ethnic profiling by the Finnish Border Guard at the Helsinki-Vantaa Airport led to the detention of Christian Heumi Kabon, a Cameroonian who plays for that country’s national team. He was sent to the Metsälä immigration removal center in Helsinki, where he was detained for 18 days, from October 30 to November 16.

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The structural Islamophobia and racism embedded within Finnish Police

Migrant Tales insight: This story was received today by us from Linda Hyökki.  On Wednesday, October 10, the NGO “Stop Deportations” and Sanna Valtonen from “Refugees Welcome” shared on social media pictures that shocked anti-racist activists, and indeed generally anyone who is concerned about ethnic profiling. In a seminar named “Lost in Helsinki”[1], organized by

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Study finds ethnic profiling is a widespread problem in Finland among the police, Finnish Border Guards and security guards

The Stopped research and journalism project, Finland’s first-ever comprehensive study on ethnic profiling, published its finding Tuesday. While there have been scores of stories published about ethnic profiling on publications like Migrant Tales, there is nothing surprising by the study’s findings.  If there is something that surprised us it was that ethnic profiling, despite continuous denials

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The National Police Board lets itself off the hook concerning a racist Facebook group

Does the Finnish police service have a racism problem? Remember in June when a scoop by Long Play exposed a secret Finnish police Facebook group that dwelt in racist and bigoted comments? It wasn’t just any Facebook group since it consisted of over 2,800 members or about one-third e of Finland’s police service. 

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UPDATE: Police were told that they cannot enter the mosque at the Puhos shopping center with a dog and shoes

Were yesterday’s [Saturday’s] spot checks [at Puhos] necessary? Were they implemented with respect or to humiliate them?   Abdi Muhis Migrant Tales visited Sunday the Puhos shopping center of Eastern Helsinki and asked people, and business establishments after the police, National Border Guards, Regional Administrative Agencies (AVI), Customs, Rescue Department, and the City of Helsinki health inspectors

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How the police, National Border Guards and white Finnish institutions keep visible migrants and minorities on a short leash

What would you say if the police, the National Border Guards, Regional State Administrative Agencies (AVI), Customs, Rescue Department, and City of Helsinki health inspectors came knocking on your door on a Saturday afternoon? Such a thing happened yesterday at the Puhos shopping center of Easter Helsinki, where the majority of customers are visible migrants and minorities.

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Police and other authorities carry out identification checks at the Puhos shopping center of Eastern Helsinki

On Saturday about 3 pm, the police, the National Border Guards, Regional State Administrative Agencies (AVI), Customs, Rescue Department, and City of Helsinki health inspectors started to ask foreign-looking people for their identification in Puhos, a shopping center in Eastern Helsinki frequented by migrants.  The big question that emerges is if this operation by the police

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Musta Barbaari’s mother and sister charged by the police in “ethnic profiling” case

Singer Musta Barbaari’s mother and sister are going to be charged for resistance to cooperate with law enforcement officials and insubordination, according to YLE.  In a highly publicized case in social media last year, Musta Barbaari, whose real name is James Nikander, wrote that his mother and sister were stopped by plainclothes police officials in downtown Helsinki who asked them to show their passport.   

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A tragic weekend that encourages us to challenge social ills like racism, bigotry and inequality in Finland, Europe and globally

Over the weekend a lot of things happened: The European Network Against Racism (ENAR) hosted a seminar in Helsinki on anti-migration racism Saturday that was overshadowed by a closed Finnish police Facebook page with racist comments, a comprehensive story on ethnic profiling in Finland, and another terrorist attack in London that left seven killed and 48 injured.

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Ethnic profiling in the EU is illegal and discriminatory

Please share:  #EthnicProfiling is unfair & discriminatory. @EU_Justice we need EU standards on #FairPolicing #SingledOut  When police use ethnicity as a basis for a stop & search it is #discrimination. EU member states must stop #EthnicProfiling #SingledOut  #EthnicProfiling can damage trust & alienate local communities. EU must develop standards on #FairPolicing @EU_Justice #SingledOut  39% of

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Finnish government party Perussuomalaiset MEP claims ethnic profiling needed to fight terrorism

Perussuomalaiset (PS)* MEP Jussi Halla-aho, who hungers for public attention, tries to surprise us with the following suggestion: The police should be allowed to ethnically profile Middle Easterners, North African and Central Asian people irrespective if it is in infringement of these people’s fundamental rights and human rights.

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Perussuomalaiset MP Leena Meri: Hiding coded bigotted statements as jokes

One matter is what happened on Friday to singer Musta Barbaari’s mother and sister when they were stopped by plainclothes police Friday, the other is a bigotted comment by an anti-immigration politician and former police officer concerning the alleged ethnic profiling case. The MP, who is a member of the Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party, Leena Meri, said that if the singer doesn’t like living in Finland he’s welcome to go back to where he came from.

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When will the Finnish police service stop denying that ethnic profiling isn’t an issue?

The Finnish police service acts as if it has never heard of ethnic profiling. Even if ethnic profiling cases by the police are rarely brought to the attention of the media, there was one case made public Friday by singer Musta Barbaari, whose mother and sister were – according to a Facebook posting – treated in “a rude manner” and were “humiliated publicly” by the police.

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Uyi Osazee: The reality of ethnic and racial profiling in Finland

I remember clearly the first time I was profiled by the police in Helsinki. It was the evening rush hour in the city and I had just made my way down the crowded escalator that leads to the underground metro platform in Hakaniemi, just two stops from the city center. As I got off the escalators, a metro was blaring out alarms, signaling it was about to depart. I quickened my steps, half running, half walking, determined to get on it. I rushed forward, hoping to beat the soon closing metro doors. A few paces off the doors, I was stopped by two individuals. They literally jumped in front of me, forcing me to stop abruptly to avoid colliding into them.

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Police allegedly threatened asylum seeker with deportation if “he didn’t behave” and stop protesting

A fight that took place today between two families at the Kolari asylum reception center forced five police service vans and 12-15 police to arrive at the camp, which is located in a far-flung village of 3,857 inhabitants, according to sources contacted by Migrant Tales. The fight is one matter but what the police allegedly told an asylum seeker is equally worrying.

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The police spot check “foreigners” Friday in Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa but it’s not called ethnic profiling

If there is an institution that discriminates and maintains white Finnish privilege in this country, it is the police service. A story by tabloid Iltalehti reports that the police service together with the Finnish Border Guard wilfully targetted foreigners for spot identity checks in Helsinki, Espoo and Vantaa.

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Defining white Finnish privilege #23: Greater police powers to monitor migrants and minorities

Finnish white privilege, like any majority culture’s privilege, not only permeates in our institutions but marks the pace of how those with no privilege will be treated in this society. Granting the police greater monitoring power to carry out arbitrary checks on migrants, and subsequently non-white Finns, is a case in point in white Finnish privilege.

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Racism and time

Racism is harmful because it robs you of one of your most important things in life: time.  In the same way that Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer (1836-70) asked in a poem where sighs, tears and love go,* do we know where time goes after it’s used up?  Since humans are social animals, attack and prey on others

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Police ask Romanian Roma “to leave” Tampere

A group of Romania Roma were woken up by the police in the middle of the night as they slept in their cars in a semi-abandoned parking lot of a match factory in Tampere, reports Aamulehti. According to the Romanian Roma, the police asked them to leave Tampere, which is a clear breach of their right to

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Finland’s ombudsman for minorities says Helsinki social services and health care employees practice ethnic profiling

Finland’s ombudsman for minorities, Eva Biaudet, accused the Helsinki department of social services and health care of ethnic profiling because it requires its employees to check if “a foreign-looking” person has a residence permit, reports Helsingin Sanomat.  The city of Helsinki said in a statement in June that its social services and health care employees

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Latest drug police scandal sheds light on other issues like ethnic profiling in Finland

The latest police corruption scandal concerning the head of the Helsinki police drug squad, sheds light on two matters: Our naivety as a society about institutional corruption, and the extent of  other issues like ethnic profiling by the police.  Police corruption is nothing abnormal since it exists everywhere. What is abnormal, however, is believing that our police

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Internal security secretariat head: Many racist crimes go unreported in Finland

Some migrants may not report a racist crime in Finland because of mistrust of the police, poor Finnish-language skills and ignorance of one’s rights, according to Tarja Mankkinen, director of the ministry of the interior’s internal security secretariat.  The Police College of Finland reported 918 suspected hate crimes in 2011, which is a 7% rise from

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Internal investigation reveals Helsinki Court of Appeal judges use racist and sexist language

What are we to make of a classified internal investigation into the behavior of the Helsinki Court of Appeals, which revealed some judges sexually harassed women at parties, used racist and sexist language during recesses and in meetings outside of the courtroom? If this occurs in our judicial system, how common is it among the

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Ask Finland’s Romany minority about ethnic profiling by the police

Two talk shows today, one on television and another one on radio, on ethnic profiling follows a report published Tuesday by the European Commission Against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI). Contrary to concerns by the ECRI, the police flatly deny in both shows that ethnic profiling takes place even if a policeman at the Helsinki Railway admitted that

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Council of Europe concerned about ethnic profiling by police in Finland

Is it a surprise that the Council of Europe’s anti-racism body expressed concern in a report that Finnish police ask people’s ID based on ethnic appearance? No need to get an official answer to find out because ethnic profiling doesn’t happen in Finland. Why not ask immigrants and visible minorities instead if you went a candid

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Crime statistics are used shamelessly by certain groups in Finland to label immigrants

Hannu Niemi, a Justice Ministry researcher, says that crime rates by immigrants in Finland have been exaggerated by the media, report Länsi Uusimaa and Uusi Suomi. He believes that there is a political aim by some groups to cite national origin in crime statistics in order to label whole groups. Migrant Tales spoke with Niemi in the spring, when

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Finnish police to have new anti-ethnic profiling guidelines in force in 2013

Rainer Hiltunen, Ombudsman for Minorities head of office, told Migrant Tales that talks have taken place with the Finnish police to draft new guidelines and more effective monitoring to ensure that ethnic profiling doesn’t happen. The new guidelines are expected to be in force in 2013.  The Ombudsman for Minorities office expressed concern in spring about higher-than-average complaints from

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Spiegel Online International: A case that successfully challenged ethnic profiling in Germany

This story, which was published by German Spiegel Online International, offers some good points on how to challenge ethnic profiling. It’s pretty clear that this illegal practice goes on in Finland as well and is more widespread than believed.   Migrant Tales asked in June blog entry: “How serious is ethnic profiling in Finland? Denials that it

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Why isn’t anyone labeling Estonians?

If I belonged to a certain anti-immigration party in Finland, how would I use the following information to score brownie points with the voters: 700 out of 1,200 suspected drunk-driving cases in Finland are by Estonian nationals, according to tabloid Ilta-Sanomat. Even if such a high number of Estonians were caught driving under the influence

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Office of the Prosecutor General will not take action against Eronen’s blog entry on “armbands”

The Office of the Prosecutor General (OPG) will not take any action against Helena Eronen concerning a blog entry she published in April suggesting that immigrants should start wearing armbands to help police track down suspected criminals, according to Helsingin Sanomat. While no charges will be brought against Perussuomalaiset (PS)  MP James Hirvisaari’s aide, it

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Racism Review: Racial Profiling in France and the U.S., (Pt.1)

By Trica Danielle Keaton On April 11, 2012, the special prosecutor in the Trayvon Martin case issued a second-degree murder charge against George Zimmerman who, in the affidavit, is described as having “profiled” the unarmed 17 year old teenager before firing the fatal shot. In that document, the word “profiled” stands alone without mention of race or

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The scars of ethnic profiling

How serious is ethnic profiling in Finland? Denials that it doesn’t occur at all by the police suggest that it may be a much wider problem than believed. The Ombudsman for Minorities has received a number of complaints from immigrants and visible minorities claiming to be victims of ethnic profiling.  Statements in April by Christian

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Räsänen sees no wrongdoing, ethnic profiling by police with spot identity checks

Christian Democrat (KD) Finnish interior minister, Päivi Räsänen, didn’t see any abuses nor ethnic profiling with spot identity checks of foreigners by the police, according to YLE. The statement follows a story on Wednesday after the office of the Ombudsman for Minorities expressing concern about the large number of complaints that foreigners are being arbitrarily stopped on the basis of their ethnic background.

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