Below are two pictures and a video of today’s peaceful demonstration in Helsinki by Iraqi asylum seekers protesting a new a new Finnish Immigration Service (Migri) assessment that alleges that countries like Iraq, Afghanistan and Somalia are today safe for asylum seekers to return.
“About 150 people took part in the demonstration today in front of Parliament [in Helsinki],” an asylum seeker told Migrant Tales.
The new assessment by Migri makes it harder for asylum seekers in Finland to be granted residence permits.
Last year, some 32,500 asylum seekers came to Finland. Most of them were from Iraq.
The tightening of government immigration policies is attributable to the rise in anti-immigration sentiment and to the anti-immigration Perussuomalaiset (PS)* party, which is a member of government with the Center Party and National Coalition Party.
An asylum seeker in Helsinki holding a picture.
The demonstrators are skeptical about Migri’s assessment that Iraq is a safe country.
* The Finnish name for the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English names of the party adopted by the PS, like True Finns or Finns Party, promote in our opinion nativist nationalism and xenophobia. We, therefore, prefer to use the Finnish name of the party on our postings. The direct translation of “Perussuomalaiset” is “basic” or “fundamental Finn.”