When Supo labels all asylum seekers and migrants in Finland

by , under Enrique Tessieri

Finnish security intelligence police Supo head Antti Pelttari claimed at a press conference Tuesday that there are two terror threats that the country faces: the rise of refugee links to terrorist groups and hate crimes linked to neo-Nazi groups, according to YLE News.  

It’s ironic that just before the 8:30 pm TV news broadcast that quoted Supo chief Pelttari, there was aired an anti-labeling commercial with a young boy. On his shirt there were labels like “problem youth,” “loser,” “abandoned,” and “not wanted.”

Reading the mixed statements by the Supo chief, which were echoed in the Finnish media, the child below could have well been an asylum seeker with the same apathetic expression and the following labels on his shirt: “terrorist,” “criminal,” “coward,” “parasite.”

Näyttökuva 2015-11-3 kello 21.26.03See full commercial (in Finnish) here.

Reading the story in YLE News about the Supo press conference it was difficult to figure out what Pelttari was saying.

At the top of the story he states:

“The abrupt change in the asylum situation in Finland has brought a significant threat to Finnish security,” Pelttari told reporters.

But then states a few paragraphs below:

Pelttari told journalists that people in Finland had no reason to alter their daily routines and could continue to walk the streets freely. he said that Supo was currently tracking the activities of some 300 individuals, and was particularly interested in their activities at asylum reception centers.

Näyttökuva 2015-11-3 kello 20.02.59

Read full story here.

One of the problems with the press conference is that Supo not only labels all asylum seekers and the migrant community in Finland with the help of conditionals like may and could.

The story gets even more confusing later when Interior Minister Petteri Orpo states: “We can’t say that there are 300 terrorists in Finland.”

So what are you saying then Minister Orpo and Supo chief Pelttari? Are we or aren’t we in danger?

Another important question that the press conference didn’t bring up is whether they’re only neo-Nazis that are attacking refugee centers and committing hate crimes.

In recent years the Perussuomalaiset* party has succeeded in giving far right politicians with neo-Nazi ties, like MP Olli Immonen, a seat in parliament. What about Supo investigating these types of ties instead of just speculating?

The answer is simple: Finland is still suspicious of people who aren’t like them and they dread cultural diversity.

Today’s press conference was a good example of this.

The Finnish name of the Finns Party is the Perussuomalaiset (PS). The English-language names 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.